A suspected mass grave of victims of New People's Army (NPA) atrocities over two decades ago was uncovered in a remote village in Bonbon, Cebu City.
A team of forensic experts from the University of the Philippines led by Professor Jerome Bailen has been in the area since Sunday to exhume the bodies.
They were led into the mass grave by a former NPA member, now 35, who claimed that he was only 12 when he witnessed the alleged murder and mass burial of at least five alleged victims of the NPA.
The four-man forensic panel led by Bailen was tapped by Peace Advocates for Justice, Truth and Healing (Path), a non-government organization, to exhume the bodies of the suspected deep penetration agents (DPAs) who were allegedly killed and buried in Sitio Amaga, Barangay Bonbon.
Bailen is accompanied by Dr. Ben Molino, forensic consultant; lawyer Erwin Serfe, medico-legal officer and Dr. Anastacio Rosete, a forensic dentist.
Gil Navarro, the organization's head, said Monday they were hopeful that they could exhume at least five remains based on the account of a former rebel.
Navarro said it was their second time to exhume remains of suspected DPAs after a successful discovery of a mass grave in Barangay Pamutan, a mountain barangay in Cebu City, in November last year.
On Sunday, Bailen and his team walked for at least three hours from the main road to reach Sitio Amaga. The exhumation of the bodies that were buried hundred meters away from each other could take about three to four days, Bailen said.
He said they hoped to exhume the remains of Luz Aniasco Laguna, a native of Ormoc City, and her husband, Herculano, a labor organizer.
The couple was declared missing in 1985, Bailen said. /Inquirer