MARAWI CITY, Philippines – The DNA sample that the military took from a body believed to be of a terrorist leader confirmed the death of Owayda Benito Marohomsar, also known as Abu Dar.
Colonel Romeo Brawner, commander of the Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade based in Marawi City, confirmed this on Sunday, April 14.
The confirmation came a month after Abu Dar was killed in a military’s pursuit operation at the boundaries of Tubaran and Pagayawan towns in Lanao del Sur.
Brawner said the confirmed death of Abu Dar would also mean the end of the Dawlah Islamiya Lanao group.
“This group is leader-centric. If you remember, when the two leaders were neutralized in the last part of the Marawi siege, President Duterte declared the liberation of Marawi from the terrorist influence,” Brawner had said in an earlier interview.
The two leaders referred to by Brawner were Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute who led the the attack in Marawi City in May 2017.
Abu Dar was part of the team that planned and staged the attack but slipped out of the battleground in the early part of the siege after he was wounded, according to Brawner.
Little was known of Marohomsar except that he was a native of Pagayawan town in Lanao del Sur and was believed to be leading the Islamic State-inspired Maute group at the time of his death.
READ: Abu Dar emerges as new Maute group leader – AFP
A military intelligence report said Abu Dar tried to return to the battleground with other fighters as reinforcement but did not succeed because of the military lockdown on Marawi City.
After the five-month battle that ended in October 2017, Abu Dar started to recruit and train new fighters, targeting young ones and orphans of the Marawi siege.
“He also recruited and trained those whose family members and relatives died during the siege… But they will not be able to continue now because Abu Dar is dead and their remnants, followers and supporters have already surrendered to the military and they are with us now,” Brawner added.
The military in Marawi and Lanao del Sur that neutralized Abu Dar is awaiting a copy of the DNA result from the Philippine National Police Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) and are expecting President Rodrigo Duterte to announce it to the public.