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3 suspected terrorists sent back to Mindanao

By TARA YAP, With a report from Betheena Kae Unite

ILOILO City – Authorities are set to conduct a deeper probe on three people recently arrested here for their alleged involvement with the dreaded Maute terror group.

Commodore Joel Garcia, Philippine Coast Guard officer-in-charge said the three suspects identified as 20-year-old Ajajid Pangumping Romato, 23-year-old Farida Pangumping Romato, and Abdulrahman Serd Dimakutah, 25 were arrested Sunday by PCG personnel by virtue of Arrest Order No. 2 issued by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

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The three were detained and questioned regarding their alleged ties with the Maute group, with Farida believed to be a sister of the Maute brothers.

Lt. Edison Diaz, PCG-Iloilo chief said Farida denied this claim while investigating officers in Iloilo found no concrete link as to her alleged ties to the Maute brothers.

“Further investigation will be done there,” said Diaz.

The trio were later on flown back to Cagayan de Oro upon the request of the local PCG.

The three were aboard a 2Go ferry that arrived from Cagayan de Oro City and was to sail on to Manila.

Diaz said the three were questioned by both the Coast Guard and the police but were not under arrest.

He said the authorities were trying to confirm their identities after the Coast Guard in Northern Mindanao provided information that members of the Maute might be on the ferry.

The detention of the three came hours after the New People’s Army (NPA) attacked the police station in Maasin town, about 36 kilometers from this city.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog has placed Iloilo City under red alert.