Mother of Maute brothers arrested in Lanao del Sur

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 10) — Authorities deal another blow to terrorists holding out in Marawi City – the mother of Omar and Abdullah Maute was arrested in Lanao del Sur.

The military on Saturday said Ominta Romato Maute, also known as "Farhana," and several others were nabbed in what they call a "safe house" in Brgy. Kormatan in Masiu town Friday night.

Masiu is around 35 kilometers from Marawi, the battleground of government forces and terrorists for more than two weeks.

Related: Marawi crisis timeline

The military said Farhana was with 15 other people, including two wounded males, on Friday to buy vehicles and firearms for their escape from the province.

Authorities seized high-powered firearms and different explosive devices.


The suspects are now under the custody of Joint Task Force Marawi.

Maute patriarch Cayamora and other relatives were arrested on Tuesday at a checkpoint in Toril District in Davao City. He is now detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.

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

The military said Cayamora was transferred "for security reasons."

Cayamora and Farhana are in the arrest order issued by martial law administrator and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana for rebellion suspects. President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23.  

Cayamora denied knowing about his sons' activities, especially about their links with ISIS and the Marawi attack.

Related: What is the Maute Group?

Links to int'l terror groups

Task Force Marawi spokesperson Jo-Ar Herrera in a press briefing on Saturday said Farhana has links to international terrorist organizations.

The Maute parents also provided logistical and financial support to the local armed group, which is largely based in Lanao del Sur, Herrera said.

He added that their arrest is a "significant milestone" in the government's fight against the terrorists.

"So basically, if you cut of the head, it will have an impact to that organization," Herrera said.

CNN Philippines' Senior Correspondent David Santos and Digital Producer Eimor Santos contributed to this report.