DILG-Davao de Oro: Identifying body parts remains a challenge 

DILG-Davao de Oro: Identifying body parts remains a challenge 
Philippine Coast Guard Davao de Oro

THE Department of Interior and Local Government- Davao de Oro (DILG-Davao de Oro) acknowledged the difficulty in identifying the body parts recovered from the Masara landslide incident.

During the Davao de Oro Defense Press Conference Special Episode on Thursday, February 29, 2024, Noel Duarte, provincial director of DILG-Davao, said that their office leads the Management of the Dead and the Missing (MDM). 

He confirmed the existence of unidentified body parts, such as feet or hands lacking distinguishing features like tattoos, making identification challenging. These remains have not been recognized by authorities, as no relatives have come forward to identify them.

“The challenge now is the unidentified body parts, kamot, tiil, we resulted in gipa-NBI and gipa-DNA and it’s a challenge because taas nga process that is why we are waiting for the NBI results of the DNA (The challenge now is the unidentified body parts, hands, feet. We sought help from the NBI and conducted DNA testing. It's a challenge due to the lengthy process, which is why we are awaiting the NBI results of the DNA),” he said. 

He added that potential relatives are awaiting results, and the office provides counseling to distressed family members. Additionally, he highlighted the need for more financial assistance, as each DNA test costs approximately P60,000, especially with eight more examinations required.

“But then again the challenge is paano gyud sila ma-match sa ilang bereaved family (However, the challenge is how to match them with their bereaved family),” he said.

DILG-Davao de Oro is closely collaborating with the National Bureau of Investigation-Davao Region to expedite the examination of the unidentified bodies.

According to the official report from DILG-MDM and the Local Government Unit of Maco, about 93 people lost their lives in the landslide on February 6, 2024, at Zone One in Barangay Masara, including 79  claimed by their relatives, eight still missing, and 14 remain unidentified. RGP


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