MARAWI CITY, Philippines– The Lanao del Sur Provincial Crisis Management Committee buried on Monday, July 24, the 27 sets of human bones, inside the Maqbara Public Cemetery in Barangay Papandayan Caniogan, here.
The remains were retrieved by the crisis committee team from the area where government forces continue operations against the ISIS-linked Maute for more than two months.
According to Danny Capin, owner of Capin Funeral Homes, the remains where brought to their custody from June 26 to July 14.
“Last June 26, the retrieval team brought here a set of human bones. In June 28 another 17, then another 13 in July 14,” he said.
Capin said there were 29 human remains which were unclaimed, but two were put on-hold because they were identified by the families.
Capin said the first one is Leonardo Epanes, a resident of Manticao, Misamis Oriental who was identified by his family through his identification card. The other one is Aljon Yana, who was recovered floating in Agus River.
“He was identified by his family. But these human remains are not yet released because we are still waiting for the result of the DNA test of the family,” said Capin.
The Department of Interior and Local Government of Lanao del Sur clarified that they have not identified yet who and how many are Christians and Muslims.
“Dumaan na ito sa mga forensic examinations. Kung may magki-claim, meron naman kaming mga tagging dyan na binigay ng SOCO (Scene of the Crime Operation), meron kaming referral na we can properly identify kung sino ‘yong nakalibing diyan,” said Macmilan Lucman, Provincial Director of DILG Lanao del Sur.
“Most probably, mga civilians lahat ang mga iyan, kahit paman na hindi sila na-identify,” Lucman said.
Lucman said the burial was delayed because of the security situation. While the rescue team of PCMCOC was doing the burial, government troops also continued its air bombings more than a kilometer away where suspected members of Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups are believed to be hiding.
“Dati hindi basta-basta mapapasukan ito (dahil sa seguridad). Makikita mo nga ang bahay ng isang mayor diyan (sa unahan), tadtad (ng bala),” Lucman added.
It can be recalled that the first 11 unidentified cadavers retrieved in Marawi City during the first few weeks of the military operations were also buried in a public cemetery of Barangay Dalipuga, Iligan City. the city government of Iligan said, it spent P50,000 for the construction of the apartment-type tomb.
In the same cemetery, four suspected members of the Maute-ISIS arrested last June were also buried. They were killed when their convoy was reportedly ambushed by unidentified men in the boundaries of Baloi and Pantar, Lanao del Norte, while on their way to Cagayan de Oro City for the inquest proceedings.
“Mas maganda na din kasi kung dito na mailibing kasi dito naman sila namatay. Pasalamat nga kami sa Iligan city government dahil nailibing na ‘yong 11,” said Lucman. (davaotoday.com)