Repulsive, bishop says of Maute plan to use hostages as shields | Inquirer News
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Repulsive, bishop says of Maute plan to use hostages as shields

/ 07:02 AM August 16, 2017

The Catholic prelate of war-torn Marawi City was outraged by the Maute group’s supposed plan to use its hostages as human bombs if their situation worsens any further.

The terrorists, who attacked the city on May 23, made the threat as security forces regained control of Marawi where soldiers and policemen have been finding human remains, mostly skeletal.

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“Horrible! Repulsive! The terrorists must be really desperate to make this threat,” Marawi bishop Edwin dela Peña said of the Maute plan to use their hostages as human bombs.

“They really know that this latest challenge is really despicable and they hope that the government will heed this,” he said after escaped hostages told the authorities of the Maute plan.

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The authorities could not determine exactly how many hostages the extremists hold, but one of the hostages, Catholic priest Teresito Suganob, earlier said there were hundreds.

Suganob, the escaped hostages said, was still alive and was being forced to make bombs as security forces regain the city.

So far, soldiers and policemen have found 45 human remains in the beleaguered city but none of them match the DNA samples submitted by Marawi residents looking for missing relatives.

Supt. Ramos Bergonio, operations chief of the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory, said the DNA of the 45 human remains were tested against 57 DNA samples submitted by the relatives.

“There has been no recorded match,” Bergonio said, adding that genetic sampling was the only means of accurately identifying the bodies because of their advanced state of decomposition. —Julie M. Aurelio and Jeannette I. Andrade

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TAGS: Edwin dela Peña, Marawi evacuees, Marawi martial law, Marawi siege, Maute group, Teresito Suganob
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