By FROILAN GALLARDO
Special Correspondent .
ISIS leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute were both killed by a single bullet each in the morning of Oct. 16, 2017, post-mortem results on their two bodies revealed.
This paper was able to obtain copies of the post-mortem or autopsy reports from the Philippine National Police Regional Crime Laboratory Office in Cagayan de Oro.
This was the first time that these reports, which also included the autopsy reports of 272 bodies found in main battle area of Marawi, were made public.
Maj. Christian Caballes, chief medico legal officer in region, said he conducted the autopsy on Isnilon and Omar in the morning of Oct. 16, 2017,hours after they were killed in the battle with the military in Barangay West Marinaut, Marawi City.
“There was a huge cavity on Hapilon’s body. His chest just caved in,” Caballes said.
Caballes said the chest wound on Hapilon, the emir of Isis Philippines, was consistent to an injury caused “ by a long rifle.”
He said he did not find any fragment of the bullet that inflicted the death of the Isis leader.
Caballes said the cause of death was “gun shot wound of the thorax.”
On Maute, Caballes said, a single bullet “again caused by a long rifle” entered the left temporal region of the head.
He said the shell exploded leaving the “lacerated cerebral hemispheres of the brains exposed.”
Caballes said he also found that Omar suffered from a bullet wound on his right leg earlier.
“With a wound like that, Omar would have dragged himself or limped in pain during the fighting,” Caballes said.
The death of Hapilon and Omar Maute by the military marked the end of the five-month siege of Marawi city in 2017.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and the then Armed Forces chief of staff Eduardo Ano announced the death of the two Isis leaders in a hastily called press conference in Camp Ranao, Marawi City on Oct. 16, 2017.
During that press conference, Ano said that sensing they were about to be surrounded, Hapilon and Omar got out from the building and dashed towards another building at the back.
They were met however by troops supported by an M113A2 armored personnel carrier that was equipped with Remote Controlled Weapons System which can see through the dark.
Ano said Omar was shot by a sniper while Hapilon was killed with three bullets to his chest.
Five days later, Defense Secretary Lorenzana told reporters in Davao City that the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation has confirmed that Hapilon, the alleged “Emir” of the Islamic State in Southeast Asia, was one of the two killed in Marawi City.
Lorenzana said the FBI confirmed that the DNA sample from a body recovered by the military in the battlefield in Marawi “matches that of Isnilon Hapilon.”