7 out of 22 bodies identified – NBI-7
The National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI-7) has stepped in to process and help identify the unidentified bodies retrieved from the landslide site in Naga City.
Dr. Rene Cam, NBI-7 medico-legal officer, said that as of Tuesday afternoon, they had already identified seven bodies out of the 22 cadavers, that were brought from Naga City to the Cosmopolitan Funeral Homes in downtown Cebu City where the NBI-7 was conducting their examinations.
Cam said that he opted to do a disaster victim identification (DVI) on the unidentified bodies, which would involve physical identification of the bodies.
A DNA test on the unidentified bodies would be another process that Cam would use to identify the cadavers.
“We are doing the DVI. And because there were family and relatives who said that they could not wait for a DNA test, so I explained to them that that would not be a problem as long as they would give us three identifying marks on the body of their family member. And if we would find these marks, then we would release the body to them,” said Cam in in Cebuano in an interview on Tuesday.
Cam said that the DVI would involve a physical identification of the body while a DNA test would involve taking a DNA from the body part such as from a hair, saliva or even from blood to identify the cadaver.
Yesterday, 22 cadavers were brought to the Cosmopolitan Funeral Homes in downtown Cebu City where the NBI-7 conducted the examination.
Cam admitted that there were cadavers that were beyond recognition, and that would be the reason for conducting a DNA test.
He said that some cadavers had incomplete body parts.
“Naay uban nga gidala ulo na lang, kamot na lang. Bisan ulo o bisan unsa nga body parts considered as one body na nato. So maglisod g’yud ta maong magkinahanglan pa ta og DNA (Some cadavers only have heads and hands. But even if this is only a head or a body part, we still consider it a body. That is why it will be difficult to identify it and so we will need the DNA test),” said Cam.
He said that DNA test results will take weeks to one month.
“We are still expecting more bodies nga lisod na iidentify. Especially ang ubang parts sa incomplete bodies (We are still expecting more bodies which are difficult to identify. Especially the other parts of the incomplete bodies),” he added.
Ronnie Diamada, whose older sister died in the tragedy, said that since he came from Davao last Friday he had not seen his 60-year-old sister Eva Ubas and her family.
“Ang amo lang maila na ang among maguwang nga natabunan uban iyahang tibuok pamilya (What we just want would be to find and identify my elder sister and her family who were lost in the landslide),” said Diamada.
He said that all they would want for their loved ones would be to give them a decent burial.
As of Tuesday,according to the Emergency Operation Center, 60 bodies had been retrieved from the landslide area.
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