Crime lab checking DNA of bodies recovered from Marawi

Roxanne Arevalo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 29 2017 09:35 PM

Hostages or Maute members?

ILIGAN CITY- Forensic experts from the Philippine National Police crime laboratory has resumed its DNA testing on bodies retrieved from the war zone in Marawi City.

Eighteen cadavers were brought to Iligan Monday evening and were examined in a funeral parlor to determine whether they were terrorists or hostages killed in the conflict zone. 

Medico-legal officer Dr. Christian Caballes said that the major cause of death in most victims were gunshot wounds to the head and chest. 

“Meron po tayong nakuhang fresh pa ang katawan, ibig sabihin kamamatay pa lang po nila. Posibleng either hostage po sila o Maute member,” Caballes added.

Authorities said the cadavers could only be positively identified if their DNA matches with a relative who has also undergone DNA testing. The testing could also take time as there are only two machines available in their laboratory. 

The funeral parlor’s owner said the cadavers were mostly teenagers and young adults.

No family has claimed any of the bodies yet. Authorities have yet to schedule their burial.