Ex-mayor tagged in Marawi siege arrested after PDP-Laban sortie

Roxanne Arevalo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 13 2019 12:18 PM

Former Marawi City mayor Solitario Ali was arrested Friday for alleged involvement in the 2017 Marawi siege. Roxanne Arevalo, ABS-CBN News

MARAWI CITY - Former Marawi City mayor Solitario Ali was arrested here Friday afternoon shortly after attending a PDP-Laban sortie for his alleged involvement in the 5-month terrorist-led siege of this city in 2017.

Col. Romeo Brawner, commander of the 103rd Infantry Brigade, confirmed that Ali was invited for questioning over alleged rebellion stemming from the siege nearly 2 years ago.

Brawner added that the Office of the Judge Advocate General of the Armed Forces of the Philippines is building up a case against Ali. Marawi City, along with the rest of Mindanao, remains under military rule.

Ali peacefully went with the authorities when he was taken into custody at the Mindanao State University. 

The former mayor had not been seen in public after the Department of National Defense issued an arrest order on against him and hundreds others linked to the siege in September 2017. 

Despite laying low, Ali managed to file his certificate of candidacy for the 2019 local elections as he sought to return to the mayoralty, contending against 8 others. 

Ali is running under the banner of the local party PCP-Ompia but is also supporting PDP-Laban.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News days before his arrest, Ali denied involvement in the Islamic State-inspired attack that had left the city in ruins.

Ali's son, incumbent vice mayor Arafat Salic, was also arrested last month for the same charges but was released after the Department of Justice found the arrest order invalid as it was not issued by a court.

In June 2018, Ali's brother, former mayor Fajad Salic, was also arrested in Cagayan de Oro because of his affinity to the Maute group, the ISIS-linked terror organization tagged in the siege.