MANILA, Philippines – Ominta “Farhana” Romato Maute, mother of Omarkhayam and Abdullah who was arrested in Lanao del Sur last month, has been replaced by her niece Monaliza “Monay” Solaiman Romato as the Maute Group’s matriarch, who oversees its financial operations.
On Wednesday, July 5, Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said the military was able to foil a possible bombing attack by the Maute Group in Cagayan de Oro City after authorities arrested Monaliza and a certain Tahera Taher in a house in Aluba, Barangay Macasandig reportedly rented by Farhana’s niece and her husband, Irene, where items used in making explosive devices were also found.
Padilla told reporters that it was Monaliza who had replaced Farhana as representative in a financial network bankrolling the Maute Group’s rebellion in Marawi City.
“(S)i Monalisa Romato, alias Monay…replaced her aunt Farhana Romato Maute, the matriarch of the Maute terrorist group clan, after she was arrested in Lanao Del Sur…At dahil naaresto si Farhana, ang pumalit na talagang nagtutuloy no’ng ginagawa ni Farhana ay itong si Monaliza,” he said.
Seized from Monaliza’s house included four M-203 rifle grenades, a blasting cap, 9-volt battery, a piece of C4 explosive, detonating cords, 19 pieces of 100-watt incandescent bulbs, a jungle knife, and suspected ammonium nitrate.
Monaliza’s arrest came almost a month after Mohammad Noaim Maute alias “Abu Jadid,” an alleged bomber of the Maute Group, was apprehended in Cagayan De Oro last June 15.