By Jeffrey Damicog
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is set to rule on the rebellion complaint against Marawi Vice Mayor Arafat Salic and his co-respondents, including his two brothers over their alleged participation in the 2017 Marawi siege.
“The case has been submitted for resolution,” said Assistant State Prosecutor Rodan Parrocha who conducted the preliminary investigation on the complaint filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG).
“Hopefully the resolution will be finished within the month,” he added.
Of the five respondents, Parrocha said only Salic and his two brothers, Samer and Walid, were able to file counter-affidavits.
The two other respondents — Edris Salid and Alinor Abas — failed to file counter-affidavits despite opportunities to submit their affidavits last April 23 and May 2.
“They won’t be given a chance anymore,” Parrocha stressed.
Arafat asked the DOJ to dismiss the rebellion case since the allegations were only fabricated by his political rival Marawi Mayor Majul Usman Gandamra.
The vice mayor said “there is an apparent and complete lack of proof to implicate respondent Salic and a failure to satisfy the quantum of evidence needed to sustain this criminal charge.”
Salic pointed out that the three witnesses of the PNP-CIDG — Edralin Usman Mangotara, Abdul Hamid Usman, and Walid Usman — are relatives of Gandamra.
“It is noteworthy that all the three witnesses are First cousins of the incumbent Mayor of Marawi City, Majul Usman Gandamra, who happens to be respondent Salic’s political rival. Respondent’s father is a former Mayor of Marawi City who is running against the incumbent Mayor Majul Usaman Gandamra in this coming 2019 elections,” read his counter-affidavit.
“Further, witnesses Abdul Hamid and Walid are brothers. And this is not the first time that they falsely accused respondent Salic and his family with purposes of harassment,” he added.
Salic stressed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) already dismissed an election protest against him based on the affidavit of the Usman brothers who claimed the Salics were involved in a shooting incident on the eve of the May 2016 elections which resulted in the deaths of two other Usman brothers, Al-Afis and Jallaluden.
Salic also refuted the allegations of the three witnesses who only gave conflicting and inconsistent statements about his participation in the Marawi siege.
Apart from this, Salic said he and his family were not in Marawi when the Maute group attacked on May 2017.
Citing the testimony of his wife Norhata and a neighbor, the Salics were reportedly in Cagayan De Oro City to buy groceries in preparation for Ramadhan when the siege began.
When he learned about the attack on Marawi, Salic said he decided that his family stay at the residence of one of his relatives in Iligan City to monitor the situation as well as help evacuees also in the city.