The Daily Manila Shimbun


Two Japanese killed in Palawan

June 3, 2017

A Japanese national and a Filipino interpreter were placed under police custody for alleged murder of two Japanese tourists who were reported missing last May 31 in Coron, Palawan. In a phone interview with the Daily Manila Shimbun on Saturday, PO2 Bernard Dalabajan, desk officer of Coron Municipal Police Station, said Hiroyuki Nagahama, 55 and Filipino interpreter Reynante Labampa, 49, were placed under police custody after they were pointed as the masterminds in the alleged killing of tourist Itani Masaru,59, and Arai Yoshihiro, 24. In a report, Senior Inspector Thirz Starky Timbancaya, Coron municipal police chief said the two Japanese were shot “in the seashore of west Galoc, Culion, Palawan ”. Timbancaya added the victims were “allegedly cut into pieces by said group and threw to the sea water of said place.” Dalabajan said the suspects were supposed to leave for Manila when they were stopped by the police authorities on Friday. “When they were here yesterday, they are planning to leave going to Manila but after the two (boat men) has confessed we did not allow them to leave,” Dalabajan said. Authorities were conducting search and rescue operation for Masaru and Yoshihiro when a certain Michael Suangco alyas Dondon confessed the victims were allegedly killed by a group of people as ordered by Nagahama, Timbancaya said in his report. “The group was headed by Sonny Anicete alyas Tatan, with his members namely Reynante Labampa, Aladin Mohameran, Joebez Viscara and one unidentified minor,” the report said. In his report, Timbancaya said aside from Suangco, Mohameran and Labampa confirmed the alleged murder. “Michael Suangco, with Aladin Mohameran and Reynante Labampa, confessed to the authorities that the two missing persons were killed by shooting in the seashore of west Galoc, Culion, Palawan,” he said. “At this juncture, victims were allegedly cut into pieces by said group and threw to the sea water of said place,” he added. A murder case is being prepared SPO2 Melvin Pasudag, investigator on case, said Timbancaya. Dalabajan said Pasudag and Timbancaya, with the personnel of the Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Marines and others conducted follow up-investigation together with Suangco and Mohameran. “They are planning to go to the crime scene, for them (Suangco and Mohameran) to point out where the two Japanese were killed,” he said. He said government authorities seek to gather evidence at the crime scene and to also locate other suspects. Masaru and Yoshihiro were reported missing on May 31 after the two failed to return since they left their hotel on May 30 for an island hopping activity. (Robina Asido/ DMS)