ILIGAN CITY -- The Provincial Government of Lanao del Sur will bury 40 human bones and cadavers at the Maqbara Public Cemetery in Barangay Papandayan Caniogan in Marawi City, on Thursday, October 5.
The mass burial follows the burial of 27 sets of human bones last July 24 and another 27 in September 5.
This is the third burial in Marawi but the fourth batch of human remains retrieved from Marawi City since the start of the crisis in May 23.
The remains were retrieved by the crisis committee team from the areas where government forces have continuing operations against Isis-inspired extremists.
Last June 15, eleven dead bodies, believed to be civilians killed by the militants were buried in a public cemetery in Barangay Dalipuga, Iligan City.
On that same month, four dead bodies of Maute members, who were killed in an ambush at the boundaries in Pantar and Baloi, Lanao del Norte, were also buried in that same cemetery.
Danilo Capin, owner of Capin Funeral Homes, said the human bones scheduled to be buried were already examined by forensics experts who took DNA samples from the remains.
“Actually, we have here 41 sets of human bones, all have underwent forensic examinations. But we are holding one set of bones, believed to be of Police Inspector Edwin V. Placido, the deputy station commander of Marawi City Police Station who was killed by the terrorist on the first day of the siege.
“We are also holding another two human remains because they were not examined yet. One was brought to their custody last October 2 and another one was brought last October 3,” he added.
Zia Alonto Adiong, spokesperson of Lanao del Sur’s Provincial Crisis Management Committee, said 8 extremists surrendered to authorities early dawn of October 4.
Adiong said seven hostages were also rescued by the military.
Another source told reporters that 17 civilian hostages were rescued which the Joint Task Group Ranao have yet to confirm.
Authorities have rescued at least 1,750 civilian hostages in Marawi, among them include priest Teresito Soganub and teacher Lordvin Acopio.
“This development is an indication that the war in Marawi is about to end,” Adiong said.
As of October 3, 47 civilians were killed when war erupted while the terrorist group suffered 753 casualties. One hundred fifty five have died on the government side.
On Monday, the military also presented to the media laptops, binoculars, base and hand held radios, handsets, chargers adapters, cameras and other items recovered from inside the main battle area as the government troops continue their clearing operations in their final push to flush out remaining Maute fighters.
The items were particularly recovered from the White Mosque and the other buildings nearby. The latest Maute stronghold to fall into the government hands on the 133rd day of the clashes.