ILIGAN CITY – At least twelve houses here belonged to the Mautes’ family and 26 others are owned by former Marawi City Mayor Fahad Salic, whom the government considered as the "enemy of the state".
City Mayor Celso Regencia revealed this development in a recent interview with the local media.
Salic is now in detention for rebellion charges after being linked as an alleged financial supporter of the Daesh-inspired group who laid siege in Marawi City that lasted for five months.
“(We) have (houses) in (barangays) San Miguel, we have in Tubod, in Tominobo (Tomas Cabili), in Tambacan,” Regencia said.
But Police Senior Superintendent Leony Roy Ga, chief of Iligan City Police Office (ICPO), said they have not monitored yet any unusual movements in those houses like the ones owned by relatives of the Maute brothers who led the attack in Marawi City.
Iligan City was among the Daesh-inspired terror group’s targets, according to Ga.
Security authorities and the local government unit did not loosen their watch over Iligan City since the start of the armed conflict on May 23 last year.
Thousands of families from Marawi City fled homes and sought refuge in Iligan City, some 30 kilometers away.
“That is why, the alert level in Iligan City is still high since the Marawi crisis started,” Ga said.
Association of Barangay Council President Cesarve Siacor, who is the barangay chairman of Tomas Cabili, said they’ve been receiving reports even before the termination of combat operations against the terror group in Marawi that caused his constituents to worry.
“The subdivision is open so residents there can get in and out freely,” Siacor said.
However, Siacor said they are monitoring the people who are staying in the said subdivision.
Regencia said they have monitored a `new personality’ who may lead the followers of the late Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute.
“Now that the privilege of writ of habeas corpus is being suspended (because the implementation of Martial Law in Mindanao) if we can see some suspicious persons and threats to our security, we can immediately invite them (for interrogation),” Regencia added.
Meanwhile, the local government of Iligan had already issued a cease and desist order for the families from Marawi City who are building structures and houses in many public areas without government permit.
The city government, according to Regencia, would like to make sure to identify the families who are staying and living in Iligan City so that the attack in Marawi will not happen in Iligan.
Police Senior Inspector Felix Rabago, Jr., commander of Iligan City Police Station 1, said two barangay councils in his areas of responsibility have already sought the help of the police to reprimand the reported displaced families from Marawi City who are constructing houses in certain areas owned by private individuals.
In Barangay Luinab, Rabago said construction workers would run everytime police personnel would go there supposedly to talk to them, even as some posts have already been erected for the construction of a two-storey house.
“The area is being contested by two families and the case is now being litigated in the Court of Appeals. Ibig sabihin, hindi pagmamay-ari ng ginagawang bahay ang lupa. Walang may-ari ng bahay ang humarap sa amin para makiusap at wala ring pumunta sa opisina namin,” Rabago said.
In Barangay Del Carmen, barangay workers have confiscated construction materials being hauled in a vacant lot in Zone Erlinda Ville for the construction of a house reportedly owned by a family displaced by war in Marawi City, according to Rabago.
In Barangay Santiago, police authorities will verify reported houses built also by some families displaced by war.
On January 8, Mayor Regencia issued a Cease and Desist Order to Maradeca Foundation Inc. and the Catholic Relief Services, Inc., through a certain Cadi Fahad, the officer-in-charge.
The order directed Fahad to “immediately cease and desist from constructing housing structure at the different barangays of the city whether temporary or permanent in nature without the approval of the City Government of Iligan”.
Fahad was also directed to appear within 72 hours upon receipt of the order before the City Legal Officer of the City Government of Iligan.
“Such illegal construction is a violation of the law or city ordinance which will be dealt with accordingly,” Regencia said in his order.