Maute matriarch captured

June 10, 2017 - 8:48 AM
Okinta Romato Maute, also known as Farhana, mother of the brothers who founded the extremist group battling government forces in Marawi, is seen in a police handout after her capture Friday. (PRO-ARMM/News5)

(UPDATE – 9:08 a.m.) Okinta Romato Maute, also known as Farhana, the mother of the brothers who organized the extremist group that continues to battle government forces in Marawai City, has been captured.

Authorities said the Maute matriarch was intercepted past 2 p.m. Friday in Barangay Kormto in Masiu town, Lanao del Sur.

She was with “almost 15” companions, mostly women relatives, but also at least two wounded kinsmen. Explosives and high-powered firearms were also found in the vehicle she was riding.

The capture of Okinta followed the arrest of Maute patriarch Cayamora in Davao City on Tuesday. Cayamora has been transferred to Metro Manila.

Two days before Okinta’s capture, President Rodrigo Duterte told troops in Sultan Kudarat that she sought to talk with him but he refused.

Her arrest also came after reported sightings of Maute group members in Masiu, where police said Okinta had apparently been hiding out while arranging the purchase of vehicles and weapons.

She and her companions are in the custody of Joint Task Force Marawi for interrogation.