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Maute sub-leader nabbed in Manila

A sub-leader of the Islamic State-inspired Maute Group, one of the 10 terrorist leaders and more than 300 remnants of the group who managed to slip out of Marawi City at the height of the siege last year, was arrested in Manila during the weekend.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald de la Rosa yesterday presented Abdul Nasser Lomondot, tagged as sub-leader of the Maute Group and was part of the siege, and his wife Raisalam in Camp Crame.
Lomobdot and his wife were arrested somewhere in Divisoria in Manila over the weekend.
Police said Lomondot was one of the key planners in the attack against a Civilian Active Auxiliary detachment in Barangay Mantapoli in Marantao, Lanao del Sur during the Marawi City siege last year.
Manila Police District (MPD) head Chief Supt. Joel Coronel said Lomondot traveled by land to Manila by riding public utility vehicles.
Lomondot also assumed a fictitious name and has been in Metro Manila since January.
De la Rosa admitted that the presence of Lomondot and his wife in Metro Manila clearly indicated there was lapse on the part of authorities.
“We have no excuses for that…they managed to slipped out (of Marawi) and got here,” de la Rosa said.
The chief PNP, however, assured the public that Lomondot was not out to create trouble in Manila but only to seek refuge.
“Investigation showed that he has been here since January this year not to create havoc but to seek refuge because they are being hunted down in Mindanao, so they fled from there and went to Metro Manila to lay low,” de la Rosa said.
The military, on the other hand, said that there were 313 remnants of the Maute Group who slipped out of Marawi City at the height of the combat operation in the area to flush out those who staged the siege, led by Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon.
Maj. Ronald Suscano, spokesman for the Army’s 1st Infantry Division (ID), said that out of the 313 Maute remnants, 10 were sub-leaders including Lomondot.
“They scattered into small groups, most of them are into hiding. Those who remain in Lanao del Sur are regrouping and retraining,” Suscano said.
“There were 10 sub-leaders left, and he is one of them,” he added.
According to Suscano, the military is constantly monitoring the activities of the remaining Maute Group and units are ready to conduct operation anytime directed.
Suscano said that Abu Dar succeeded Hapilon, who was killed in Marawi City, as emir of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) in Southeast Asia.
He said that Dar is frequently reported in Pagawayan, Lanao del Sur — his birthplace and where his relatives are living.
Suscano said that as of now, Dar is still with some foreign terrorists.
Police said Lomondot has been in Manila since January. He was monitored at the Laguindingan International Airport in Cagayan de Oro City on February 15 and on the CDO-Iligan Road the same day.
Police also said that Lomondot was seen in Tondo, Manila from February 20 to 28 and from March 1 to 3, days before his arrest.
Meanwhile, Dela Rosa said authorities are looking for other suspected terrorists.
“We have monitoring…but we cannot say how many and who…our efforts are continuous,” said Dela Rosa.
“The most important thing is we captured them because of our continuous monitoring…they were arrested and failed to conduct terror,” he added.

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