Marawi City vice-mayor also facing drug, murder cases

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MARAWI CITY Vice-Mayor Arafat Salic, who was arrested at the city hall on March 13 over rebellion charges, is also facing cases relating to illegal drugs and murder, according to military officials. “He came with us voluntarily,” said Col. Romeo S. Brawner, Jr., 103rd Infantry Brigade commander. “Last night we turned him over to the PNP (Philippine National Police) but they asked us to let him stay here in the camp in the meantime for his safety,” he added. Lt. Col. Gerry M. Besana, spokesman of the military’s Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom), said the arrest was “in relation to the Marawi siege,” with Mr. Arafat in the list of the Office of the Martial Law Administrator Arrest Order dated September 4, 2017. “Aside from rebellion, he also has drug related cases in PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency), and other cases filed and other murder-related cases filed against him,” said Mr. Brawner. Meanwhile, Mr. Brawner said 135 fighters and supporters of the Maute group, which was responsible for the Marawi siege, have surrendered to authorities. “They help us identify members [of the Maute Group]. More than that, they also help in our campaign in preventing and countering violent extremism,” he said. — Tajallih S. Basman