MANILA — The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Tuesday said it could not yet ascertain if National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) consultants Benito Tiamzon and wife Wilma Tiamzon were among those who died in a firefight with security forces in Samar last month.
AFP chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Bartolome Bacarro said identifying the bodies could take time.
“We have tapped the services of the (Philippine National Police), particularly (Scene-of-the-Crime Operatives), to gather DNA samples and come up with a comparison. We are still waiting for the result of the DNA test conducted by the PNP,” Bacarro told reporters.
Soldiers clashed with a group of suspected New People’s Army members who were aboard a motorized banca near Buri Island on Aug. 22. The boat carrying the suspected rebels exploded during the firefight.
The military has retrieved 6 sets of human remains from the Samar Sea as of Aug. 27, including 3 males, 2 females and one whose gender is still undetermined.
The bodies are believed to be among those onboard the boat that exploded.