Missing boy 'not the one' in extremists photo

ILIGAN CITY -- Rowhanisa Abdul Jabar may have found her missing 10-year-old son and he may have been living near her all along these past years and not fighting alongside extremists.

Jabar is the mother of the 3-year-old boy who went missing seven years ago and whose story went viral after netizens posted photos of a boy fighting alongside extremists in Marawi City who eerily looked like Jabar’s missing boy.

The pictures of the boy and other children brandishing high powered firearms were originally posted on Facebook by ISIS-inspired extremists.

The military said the photos could have been taken inside the main battle areas of Marawi City because of the destroyed buildings on the background.

Jabar saw the photographs of the children, including the photograph of the boy who looked like her missing son, Azramie “Ram-ram” Magondacan.

Jabar, who lives in Manila with her family, traveled to Marawi City to contact military authorities who confirmed the presence of child warriors fighting with extremists.

Jabar said after her story, which was first featured in this newspaper on August 27, aired on TV Sunday, September 3, someone texted her to inform her of the whereabouts of her son.

“Nag-coordinate na kami sa NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) para puntahan, pero nung dumating kami sa lugar, nag-surender na pala sa pulis (We coordinated with the NBI to go to the place but when we arrived, the police have already surrendered),” said Jabar in a phone interview.

She said she learned that Ram-ram was living with the family who adopted him just near the area where her cellphone store in Tutuban Mall is located.

“Tinanong ko anak ko, sabi niya nakakaakyat siya at nakakapunta daw siya palagi doon sa malapit sa area ko. Grabe talaga ang tadhana kung magbiro sa amin (I asked my son, he said he’s always around the area. Fate has its joke on us),” she said.

She did not give any complete details on how Ram-ram came to live with the family for the last seven years. But Jabar said she is now verifying if the boy is really her son.

She said the Department of Social Welfare and Development is compelling her to meet all the requirements and to undergo a deoxyribonucleic acid test to establish her relationship with the boy.
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