Preliminary inquiry vs 58 Maute recruits sets by DOJ

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) is set to begin a preliminary investigation on the rebellion complaints filed against arrested 58 suspected recruits of the Maute terrorist group and their lone recruiter.

Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong, who heads the prosecution panel handling the case, has set to start the preliminary investigation on August 14 after the arrested suspects opted to sign a waiver of detention.

Ong said on August 14 the suspects are set to submit their counter-affidavits in response to the accusations against them.

“Kung ano man ang depensa nila mailagay nila para mag form part ng record, ma-consider namin,” he said.

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A rebellion complaint was filed Friday afternoon before the DOJ against those arrested including Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) member Nur Supian who was pointed by suspected Maute recruits as their recruiter.

The 59 suspects were presented that day before the panel of prosecutors chaired by Ong after being flown to Manila from Zamboanga del Sur via a C-130 plane of the military.

Among them, 32 including Supian were arrested by the police and military manning a checkpoint last July 25 in Ipil town, Zamboanga Sibugay.

While the 27 were arrested by police also on July 25 in Zamboanga City after barangay officials reported a suspicious group of persons.

Authorities seized from the suspects military uniforms, boots and MNLF identification cards which are not clear if these are fake or authentic.

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During Friday’s proceedings, Abdurahid Arasid, an MNLF member who was among the 32 persons arrested, said he got recruited by Supian to supplement the Maute forces which have been looking for recruits to beef up its forces in Marawi City.

Arasid said he was told he would receive a monthly salary of P30,000 and firearms if he joins.

He said he initially refused but was advised to join to keep watch the activities of the group.

Unfortunately, Arasid said Supian did not tell the other suspects they were being recruited to fight for Maute.

Instead, Arasid told them they were being recruited to undergo training as MNLF integrees to be able to join the military.

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Several of the arrested suspects backed Arasid and said they were only told they would undergo training as MNLF integrees and become soldiers.

They added they were not told by Supian that they were joining to fight for the Maute.

On the other hand, Supian said Arasid is lying and that he has proper documents to show they were indeed going to undergo training.

In the meantime, all 59 suspects they have been detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.

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