A toddler has been included in a government list of people suspected of helping the Maute terror group attack Marawi City.
There are 18 names in the “lookout report”, including a boy with the surname Maute who was born on September 20, 2014.
The boy, his mother, 16 others with surname “Maute” and their relatives went to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) today (Wednesday, May 31) to clear their names.
The lookout report had read: “Request that all concerned agencies, agents and outfits to be immediately advised to be on the lookout for the following members of the Maute clan, who have in one way or the other aided and abetted in the killings and attack that recently happened in Marawi.”
They were accompanied by lawyer Dalomilang Parahiman of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said he had already ordered the NBI to verify their identities.
“The mandate of our office has been to give free legal assistance to clear their names and that they are not with the Maute fighters,” said Parahiman, adding that some of his own relatives were among the 18 named on the report.
“They are from Mindanao. They are from Lanao del Sur. They are law abiding citizens. Their only crime is their surname is Maute,” he said.
“Most of these Mautes have been residing in Manila for more than 30 years.”
Aside from the two-year-old boy, another relative who is aged 10 year old with the same surname is among those included in the arrest warrant issued by Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
He said that they flew to Manila just days before the fighting in Marawi City broke out and were apparently planning to make a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.