3 men confessed to killing Japanese tourists in Palawan: PH Coast Guard

Arnell Ozaeta, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 04 2017 12:47 AM

EL NIDO, Palawan—Two Japanese nationals who have been missing since Tuesday were reportedly murdered off Alava Island in Culion town, a Philippine Coast Guard official said.

LTJG Lonie Zamora, PCG Palawan spokesperson, said three suspects have come forward and confessed to killing Itani Masaru, 59, and Arai Yoshihiro, 24.

Zamora identified the suspects as Aladin Mohameran, Reynante Labampa and boat owner Michael "Don-don" Suangco.

Last Tuesday, the victims rented Suangco's boat to check out the surrounding islands but did not return.

The staff of GMG Hotel, where the victims were staying, reported to the police the missing guests.

Quoting the Task Force North report, Zamora said the suspects reported the location where they shot and cut the victim's body in pieces before throwing them into the sea.

The suspects also sank the boat before leaving for Coron town last Tuesday, Zamora said.

Task Force North, which consists of members of the Philippine National Police, the Philippine Navy and Coast Guard, as well as local government units, was formed to handle the case of the missing Japanese tourists.

Meanwhile, investigators said another Japanese national, Hiroyuki Nagaham, a businessman from Puerto Princesa City, was invited at Coron police station after he was accused of masterminding the killings.

Authorities are also looking for a certain Sonny Anicete, who was identified by the three suspects as their leader, and two other companions, Joebez Vizcara and an unidentified minor.

"We have yet to find the bodies of the victims to check the veracity of their confessions," Zamora said.

The Task Force continues to scour the area to search and retrieve the bodies of the victims.