DOJ taps experts to examine skeletal remains found within compound

DOJ taps experts to examine skeletal remains found within compound
The construction site within the Department of Justice compound in Manila where skeletal remains of "three to five" people were found in an excavation.
Release / Department of Justice

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice said Friday it has sought the help of experts to examine the skeletal remains found within its compound during an excavation for the construction of a new four-storey building.

DOJ spokesperson Mico Clavano said Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla will be meeting with top forensic pathologist Raquel Fortun along with anthropologists and archaeologists on Friday.

“We will consult with her again as to what we can do and what else we can find here from the skeletons that were found,” Clavano told reporters.

Clavano said the bones dug up by workers on Thursday were estimated to be from three to five people, were found “near the surface,” and raised suspicion from Fortun that it may be a mass grave.

The skeletons have been turned over to the National Bureau of Investigation for forensic examination, Clavano said, adding that Fortun advised them not to touch the bones should they find more.

“We expect a report from the NBI either today or early next week about these remains that we found,” Clavano said.

In 2005, the DOJ reportedly recovered at least five skulls and human bones at the construction site where the Forum Building is located. — Xave Gregorio with a report from Kristine Joy Patag

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