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DOJ inching closer to finalizing case vs Maute wife

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The Department of Justice is set to submit for resolution the criminal complaint filed by Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) against the wife of one of the slain leaders of the Maute terror group.

Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong, who chairs the DOJ Task Force Marawi, ended the preliminary investigation on Wednesday the rebellion complaint filed by Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines-The Judge Advocate General (AFP-TJAG) against Najiya Dilangalen Karon-Maute.

Najiya is the wife of Mohammad ‘Otto’ Maute, who was killed in a battle with government forces in Marawi City.

During the preliminary investigation, Ong said that Najiya did not file a counter-affidavit against the rebellion complaint after the complainants failed to submit additional evidence which could back their complaint.

“So it’s their turn now to submit a counter affidavit. They decided not to file. Kasi nga (It’s because), may initial finding kami on the inquest level na insufficient ang evidence. So ngayon (Now), submitted for decision. At saka ni-rule talaga namin na hindi inquestable ang case. (We ruled that the case is not inquestable.) The offense was committed several months before the arrest of the lady. At the time the lady was arrested, she was not committing any offense, she was not about to commit any offense, she has not just committed an offense. So it is not inquestable,” Ong explained.

“They were given a chance to submit additional evidence, they failed. Notified sila ngayon, hindi sila pumunta(They were notified but they did not show up) and we will rule,” he added.

Najiya was arrested on Jan. 23, 2018 in Cotabato City.

The complaint against Najiya was based on the testimony of a certain Martino Elyana who was abducted in Padian, Marawi City.

Elyana said he saw Najiya and her husband Mohammadhayan “Otto” Maute bringing food to members of the group at the Bato Mosque in June 2017.

Elyana said he managed to escaped the Maute lair in July 2017.

Najiya was subject of an arrest order issued by the Department of National Defense, the agency in charge of implementing martial law in Mindanao. (PNA)