Engineer-turned-terror suspect? Meet the Maute patriarch

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 07 2017 01:39 PM | Updated as of Jun 08 2017 08:24 AM

Cayamora Maute, a man who said he was the father of two brothers whose Maute group of Islamist militants led the seizure of Marawi city two weeks ago, gestures inside the police station after his arrest in Davao City Tuesday. Lean Daval Jr,. Reuters

MANILA - Cayamora Maute, the father of 2 men leading the deadly siege of Marawi, is a former engineer who is being investigated for possibly funding terror activities, the military said Wednesday. 

"Bilang patriarch, siya po ang namumuno ng pamilya at maaaring nagfi-finance ng ibang gawain nila," Armed Forces spokesperson Major Gen. Restituto Padilla told radio DZMM. 

"Iyung naipon po nilang kayamanan ay base sa kanyang pagiging enhinyero. Iyan din po ang pinagkuhanan ng pangsuporta niya sa 2 anak na ipinadala sa Gitnang Silangan, pinag-aral po sila." 

(As the patriarch, he led the family and probably financed their other activities. Their wealth came from his engineering practice. That was also the source of the financial support he gave to his 2 sons when they studied in the Middle East.)

Authorities, he added, are now investigating whether the Maute clan chief also made money from illegal drugs. 

Cayamora's sons Omar and Abdullah, who are said to have been radicalized while studying abroad, had led extremists in attacking Marawi City last May 23, prompting President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law in Mindanao. 

The patriarch was arrested in Davao City Tuesday on board a vehicle with his daughter, wife, a son-in-law and their driver, said Padilla. 

Police said the Maute family came from Cotabato City and went to Davao because Cayamora was scheduled to undergo medical check-up, but his illness is still unknown. 

Padilla said a gun, a homemade bomb, and P363,000 in cash were recovered from the group. 

They remained under the custody of Davao police pending court orders on their possible transfer to Manila.