PNP nabs alleged Maute Group sniper ahead of Marawi siege anniversary
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Philippine National Police (PNP) arrested an alleged member of the terrorist Maute Group just 15 days before the Marawi siege anniversary.
In a Camp Crame press briefing on Tuesday, May 8, PNP chief Oscar Albayalde presented Unday Macadato, who was arrested in Cubao, Quezon City by Metro Manila intelligence operatives.
According to Metro Manila police chief Camilo Cascolan, Macadato was named in the Mindanao martial law list of alleged terrorists and was identified as a sniper during the 2017 siege that left the city in ruins.
Macadato was nabbed on Monday, May 7, after Cubao locals reported him to cops. Metro Manila police intelligence operatives privy to the operation told Rappler that he was apparently threatening locals by boasting of his ties in Mindanao.
He did not brandish his membership in any terror group, operatives added, but it was enough to make the community worry.
His background: Cops suspect Macadato reached Metro Manila through a roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro) ferry, after escaping the Marawi siege.
According to Albayalde, Macadato served as a security detail for a politician in Mindanao before joining the Maute Group and battling Philippine security forces.
Police are currently tracing his ties to see whether he is related to alleged Maute Group funder Aminkisa Macadato, who is a nephew of Maute matriarch Farhana.
Like other alleged terrorists, Albayalde added, Macadato was trying to blend in or lie low. (READ: ISIS has 'safe havens' in Metro Manila – NCRPO chief)
"'This is what they are doing here, when it's dangerous for them in Mindanao, they come here, they rest, they earn money," the PNP chief said in a mix of English and Filipino.
Police have yet to find out how Macadato earned money during his stay.
Terrorists apparently seek to escape to Metro Manila as intelligence operatives have been relentless in Mindanao.
Police filed illegal possession of firearms and explosives charges against Macadato for carrying a 45-caliber pistol and a grenade during his arrest. – Rappler.com