Filipinos nabbed over corpses in Tokyo face ‘murder’ probe

Jairo Bolledo

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Filipinos nabbed over corpses in Tokyo face ‘murder’ probe


'We will see in the next few weeks what will be the final charges to be filed against them. The embassy is...ready to continue providing assistance,' DFA Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega says

MANILA, Philippines – The two Filipinos recently arrested over alleged abandonment of corpses in Tokyo, Japan, are facing investigation for alleged murder, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed.

DFA Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega confirmed to Rappler that the two Filipinos earlier identified as Bryan Jefferson Lising dela Cruz, 34, and Hazel Ann Baguisa Morales, 30, were now being investigated for alleged murder.

“We will see in [the] next few weeks what will be the final charges to be filed against them. The embassy is in touch with the authorities. We are ready to continue providing assistance,” the DFA official told Rappler.

Japan Today reported warrants of arrest were served against the two on Friday, March 1. De Vega said the alleged murder was a separate case from the earlier accusations against the two.

The two Filipinos made headlines after they were arrested in late January after they were accused of allegedly abandoning the corpses of a Japanese couple who had gone missing. The corpses of Norihiro Takahashi, 55, and his wife Kimie, 52, were discovered with stab wounds inside their home.

Dela Cruz and Morales were arrested almost a week apart. While Morales denied all her involvement in the alleged crime, Japanese police reported that Dela Cruz “admitted to the allegations” or abandoning the bodies.

Japanese media reported that Morales was in a relationship with the victims’ son. Japan Today reported that Morales and Dela Cruz “likely knew each other” while in the Philippines.

Under Japan’s Penal Code, which punishes criminal offenses, a person who “damages, abandons or unlawfully possesses a corpse, the ashes, or hair of a dead person, or an object placed in a coffin” could be imprisoned for a maximum of three years if found guilty. – with reports from Bea Cupin/Rappler.com

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Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering justice, police, and crime.