Crime scene investigators recover human bones from a grave in Davao City in the southern Philippines. The Commission on Human Rights is currently investigating the hundreds of unsolved summary killings perpetrated by the shadowy group called the Davao Death Squad. (Photos by Keith Bacongco - AKP Images / Text by the Mindanao Examiner)
DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / July 11, 2009) – Crime scene investigators recovered Saturday human skeletal remains from a grave in Davao City in the southern Philippines.
The remains were believed to be a victim of summary execution in Davao, tagged by human rights advocates as one of the most dangerous in the southern Philippines because of unsolved murders blamed to the shadowy group called Davao Death Squad.
Lawyer Leila de Lima, who heads the Philippines Commission on Human Rights, witnessed how police investigators dug one after the others human bones inside a firing range.
The remains were believed from a death squad member who was reportedly executed by his colleagues five years ago for a still unknown reason.
A former member of the death squad has provided information about the grave to the Commission on Human Rights and vowed to expose those behind the dread group blamed for the hundreds of extrajudicial killings in Davao over the past years.
Most of those killed were criminals and ex-convicts, including teenagers accused of various crimes in Davao City. The grave was one of several where victims of executions were buried.
The mayor of Davao City, lawyer Rodrigo Duterte, denied the existence of the Davao Death Squad and said many of the killings were related to gang wars.
The Commission of Human Rights maintained the killings were carried out by the death squad. House Speaker Prospero Nograles, who represents Davao City's first congressional district, urged authorities to resolve the murders. (Mindanao Examiner)