ILIGAN CITY, Philippines – The widow of Omar Maute, Minhati Madrais, was given 10 days beginning Tuesday, November 7, to find her own legal counsel before authorities would begin questioning after she was arrested over the weekend.
Madrais signed on Tuesday a waiver that moves the trial of her case to a later time as the Indonesian national does not have a lawyer yet, said Police Senior Superintendent Leony Roy Ga, Iligan City Police Office director.
Authorities are charging Madrais for allegedly violating Rpublic Act (RA) 9516 or illegal possession of explosives, a new development after her arrest on Sunday, November 5.
Supposedly, authorities was in search for the Indonesian national as she was included in the list of the Arrest, Search and Seizure Order (ASSO) 1 issued by the Department of National Defense.
In the order, Madrais was pointed to be the woman with an alias “Baby”, a claim which she denies.
“I don’t know Baby. I am not baby,” she explained.
What she does not deny, however, is that she is Maute’s wife and that they were married in Egypt. Also, all of their six children carry Maute as their surname. These, she said, could be proven through a marriage contract and her children’s birth certificates which were left at their house in Marawi.
Hesitant to sign waiver
On Tuesday, Madrais was at first hesitant to sign the waiver prepared by the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) here. The first version of the waiver showed her name and her supposedly alias, said PAO director Vivien Morales.
Later, a revised version of the document without the said alias was prepared, to which she eventually signed.
The document pointed out that the widow is facing a case for allegedly violating RA 9516.
Portions of the waiver which she found confusing had to be explained by PAO, and Wahyu Candra Irawan, Assistant
Superintendent of the Indonesian National Police Liason Office of the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia.
During the arrest on Sunday, authorities found materials used in making explosives at a house where Madrais was renting.
Madrais denies ownership over the items, and claims that she was arrested “because I have (an) expired passport.”
As this develop, Iligan City’s Social Welfare and Development Office is finding ways how it could assist her and her children, bot in financial and emotional terms.
“We also debrief her so we could help her recover from the trauma,” said Jec Sacan, officer-in-charge of the body.
In a conversation with reporters, Madrais was seen with her children, two of which were taking turns in breastfeeding.
Not an Indonesian?
Meanwhile in Jakarta, director of an Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry-attached agency created to protect the rights of Indonesian citizens abroad, Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, said they are yet to determine whether Madrais is still an Indonesian citizen.
This, as there could be a possibility that she has already changed citizenship.
At the time she was arrested, Mrs. Maute appealed to the Indonesian Embassy (KBRI) in Manila to meet with her, and asked that she be brought back to her own country.
She said she would only be willing to speak to Filipino authorities if representatives from KBRI would accompany her during questioning.
Davao Today tried to reach Berlian Napitupulu, Indonesia’s Consul General in Davao City for comment, but a staff said he was in Manila in preparation for the 31st ASEAN summit and related meetings.
Madaris arrived in the Philippines in 2012 with an Indonesian passport number A2093379. The same document show that she was born in Bekasi, West Java, some 20 kilometers away from the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. (with reports from Mick Basa / davaotoday.com)