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Philippines: Security Implications of Death of Cayamora Maute in Police Detention

The Philippines faces an increased terror threat from the Maute Group as the death of Cayamora Maute while under detention may provoke retaliation. Cayamora is the father of Omar and Adullah Maute who both have been waging a war against the Filipino government in Marawi City. Cayamora died in detention on 27 August 2017 after he was rushed to the hospital following a rise in blood pressure, a slow-down of pulse rate, and breathing difficulties.

The risk of a retaliatory attack is further strengthened by the fact that a jail warden’s request for Cayamora to undergo a medical examination for health complications was rejected by the local courts back in Jul 2017. Secondary sources also claimed that Maute Group members do not believe that Cayamora died a natural death, which contributes to the possibility that the terror group may pursue vengeance through violent means. Maute Group militants have been known to employ increasingly radical methods in their attacks, including the use of suicide bombings against military and civilian targets in Jul 2017.

The death of Cayamora occurs in conjunction with a series of other factors that exacerbates the already tense security situation in Philippines. These factors include the release of a new IS video calling for more foreign fighters to come to the Philippines, and the increasingly radical methods of the Maute Group terrorists. It is expected that the Maute Group will hold the government responsible for the death of Cayamora, with possible repercussions including terrorist action in areas outside Mindanao, including in Metro Manila.

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