Military ready vs. threats as 'high-risk' Maute patriarch in Manila

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 8) — The military said Thursday it is prepared to thwart attacks or rescue attempts by supporters as the father of the Maute group was transferred to Manila.

Martial law spokesperson for eastern Mindanao Brig. Gen. Gilbert Gapay said that Cayamora Maute, the father of Maute terror group founders Omar and Abdullah, was transferred by air shortly after midnight Thursday to Manila from Davao City for security reasons. 

Gapay, speaking at a news briefing in Malacanang, said they had not heard of reports to rescue the elder Maute, but added they were aware of the risk in bringing him to the capital. 

"We cannot discount the risk wherever he is because we know how the Maute group operates. Ito ang pinaghahandaan ng ating security forces," Gapay said.

"We are prepared in the event of a retaliatory or diversionary attack," he added. 

The elder Maute was arrested on Tuesday in a van accompanied by his second wife, daughter, and son-in-law in a chauffeur-driven black van at a checkpoint in Toril District in Davao City.

READ: Father of Maute brothers arrested in Davao City

"It is for security reasons that he was transferred [to Manila]. He is the patriarch and head of the Maute clan, as such he is considered as a high-value individual and at the same time a high-risk individual that's why we opted to transfer him to Manila," Gapay said.

Armed Forces Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said security officials can protect them better in Metro Manila than in Mindanao where troops are focused on flushing out remaining Maute terror group members holed up in areas of Marawi City.

"It was logical for us to transport him and whoever ordered it was perhaps just following some protocols that we needed to follow because we can provide better security coverage in a place where there is no firefight and gunfight going on," Padilla told CNN Philippines.

Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) spokesperson Jail Senior Inspector Xavier Solda said the four Maute family members are inside the BJMP Jail Complex inside Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.

Davao City Police Office (DCPO) Director Sr. Supt. Alexander Tagum said they face charges of rebellion, along with other charges related to the discovery of a .45-caliber pistol and grenade in the van. Cash amounting to P360,000 was found in the vehicle.

The elder Maute has denied knowing about his sons' activities, especially about their links with the ISIS and the Marawi attack.

The four Mautes, along with the van driver Esmael Salazar, have undergone inquest at Davao City Police Office headquarters.