2 missing Japanese tourists found dead in Philippines, bodies mutilated
CEBU – Two Japanese tourists who were reported missing on Palawan province had been found dead, their bodies mutilated and police have taken several people in custody in connection to the brutal killings.
Officials said the bodies of Itani Masaru, 59, and Arai Yoshihiro, 24, were recovered on the island of Galoc in Culion town on June 2, barely two days after they sailed out with a local boater Michael Suangco for a tour of the islands off Palawan.
The duo had been reported missing by a hotel staff, Ning Perez, on May 31 after they failed to return to GMG Hotel in Coron town. Police and military authorities launched a joint operation to search for the victims, according to Lt. Gen. Raul del Rosario, chief of the military’s Western Command, who ordered troops to establish checkpoints in the whole province and to locate the whereabouts of the Japanese nationals.
He also directed “tactical units” to conduct joint seaborne and air patrols to known tourist destinations in Coron.
Quoting police, local media reported that the bodies of the Japanese men had gunshot wounds. And that police were investigating Suangco and several other local men - Joebez Viscara, Reynante Labampa, Sonny Anicete and Aladin Mohameran - in connection to the murder.
Suangco reportedly confessed that a Japanese man, Hiroyuki Nagahama, allegedly masterminded the grisly murder of his compatriots. Police did not say the motive of the killings as investigation is still going on. Suangco did not say if Nagahama hired or paid him or the gang to kill Masaru and Yoshihiro. (Cebu Examiner)
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