45 bodies recovered from Marawi up for DNA tests: PNP

Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 15 2017 07:55 PM

MANILA — The Philippine National Police crime laboratory on Tuesday reported the retrieval of 45 bodies from Marawi City, which will undergo DNA examinations.

Thirty-five of the bodies were retrieved by the PNP's Scene of Crime Operation (SOCO) teams and 10 by the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Supt. Ramos Bergonio, PNP Crime Laboratory operations head, said his unit has begun processing the bodies and collecting antemortem data consisting of buccal swabs for DNA examination, as well as gathering personal information from immediate claimants of the bodies. 

To date, Bergonio said there was no recorded match on DNA examination and the collected ante-mortem data.

For security reasons, Bergonio said the SOCO-Disaster Victim Identification could not conduct a full operation on the retrieved bodies yet since the unit is still waiting to be cleared by the AFP allowing it to freely go around Marawi. 

For now, all 57 collected antemortem and postmortem data are preserved at the DNA lab inside Camp Crame.

Violence erupted in May after local Islamic State-inspired extremists laid siege in the southern Islamic city.

The clashes prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to place the entire Mindanao region under martial rule. 

As of August 10, fighting in Marawi has killed 128 government fighters and 45 civilians. 552 enemies have also been killed.