Hapilon DNA sample hand-carried to US, says envoy


Posted at Oct 22 2017 07:22 PM | Updated as of Oct 22 2017 08:34 PM

MANILA - The DNA sample taken from terrorist leader Isnilon Hapilon, who was killed in Marawi City, was hand-carried by a representative of the US Embassy from the Philippines to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) office in Quantico, Virginia. 

In a text message sent Sunday, US Embassy press attache Molly Koscina said the DNA was hand-carried to Virginia upon the request of the Philippine military -- an act that she said shows the strong partnership of the two countries in the fight against terrorism. 

"Did you know that at the request of the AFP, a representative of the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines Legal Attache office hand carried DNA taken from Hapilon‎'s body to Quantico in Virginia for identity verification," she said.

"The result was positive. This is yet another example of how the U.S. Is supporting our friend, partner, and ally in the fight against terror," she added, echoing Saturday's announcement by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana that the DNA samples tested positive.

Hapilon, leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group, was last known as the anointed Islamic State leader in Southeast Asia. The military earlier said the Marawi City firefights ensued in May following government's attempt to arrest him. 

He was killed, along with another terrorist leader Omar Maute, in Marawi City earlier this week as government troops inched closer to ending the five-month crisis. 

The US had placed a $5-million (P264.4) reward for Hapilon's head, citing his involvement in terror acts including the abduction and murder of a US national.