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Taguig court convicts Maute member for rebellion

MANILA, Philippines — A member of the terrorist organization Maute Group was found guilty on Friday for  rebellion and for turning a female teenage captive as his sex slave.

In the 36-page decision by the Regional Trial Court Branch 70 in Taguig City, Junaid Macauyag Awal, alias Vice Junaid, was convicted for violating laws on rebellion, specifically Article 134 in relation to Article 135 of the Revised Penal Code for his role in the Marawi siege in 2017.

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He was also found guilty of R.A. 9851 or the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity.

A 16-year-old female witness who testified against Awal told the court she and her mother were held hostage for five months by the terrorist group. She said they personally saw Awal wearing the Maute uniform and firing in the frontline against government forces.

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Moreover, she said Awal forced her into sexual intercourse and threatened to kill her if she resists.

Awal was meted a penalty of reclusion perpetua or up to 40 years imprisonment and a fine of P500,000. He will also serve eight years and one day up to 14 years, eight months, and a day in prison for his rebellion case.

In May 2017, members of the Maute group pledging allegiance to extremist Islamic State (ISIS) occupied Marawi, burning some establishments and taking hostage several residents.

After five months, government forces were able to liberate Marawi after soldiers killed Abu Sayyaf Group leader Isnilon Hapilon and Maute scion Omar Maute. /ee

READ: Abu, Maute leaders are dead – AFP

READ: Duterte to mark Marawi liberation in October 

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