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40 more unidentified remains buried in Marawi

The 40 unidentified remains found in different spots in Marawi City were buried on Thursday after an extensive post-mortem examination by experts. DILG-ARMM
LANAO DEL SUR — Emergency teams on Thursday buried 40 more bodies of unidentified people killed in gunfights in Marawi City in recent weeks.
Forensic experts have collected DNA samples from the bodies that were buried in case needed for cross-matching with specimens from relatives.
The burial of the was facilitated jointly by personnel of the Bureau of Fire Protection, the Lanao del Sur provincial government, the Police Regional Office-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the military and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. of the Western Mindanao Command told The STAR via mobile phone Thursday that the bodies were tagged and recorded for easy sorting in case relatives would surface to claim them.
“These human remains were processed by forensic experts in the Philippine National Police,” Galvez said.
Members of the Lanao del Sur provincial crisis management committee told The STAR a day before that a team of forensic experts from the US government examined the cadavers that were to be buried at the Maqbarah Cemetery in Marawi City Thursday.
The sources, among them a senior staff of Lanao del Sur Vice Gov. Mamintal Adiong Jr., said the foreigners also took DNA samples from the unidentified cadavers while still at a private mortuary in Iligan City.
Galvez said he is grateful to the Muslim clerics who helped bury the 40 cadavers, the third since July.
He said the National Bureau of Investigation and the DILG-ARMM also helped in the documentation of each of the bodies buried at the Maqbarah Cemetery.
Authorities had twice buried 27 bodies each in two separate operations early on.
Assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong of the 24-member Regional Assembly-ARMM said Thursday that they are not sure if the bodies were those of civilians or members of the Maute terror group.
“In Islam, which espouses love and respect for all people regardless of religion, giving the dead proper burial is an obligation and an act of piety. That must be extended to all, no discrimination at all,” said Adiong, spokesman of the provincial crisis management committee.
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