MANILA, Philippines - Are there more murder victims?
Skeletal remains, believed to be human, were exhumed yesterday in Cavite, which a witness said were those of a helper of Ronald Bae, the former barangay official who went on a shooting rampage and killed seven people.
Forensic experts and investigators from the Cavite Police Provincial Office led by Chief Inspector Reynaldo Magdaluyo were accompanied by Bae’s helper John Paul Lopez to the grave site in Tabon 1 in Kawit, Cavite, near the house of Bae.
Lopez said the skeletons belonged to Bae’s former helper Teodulo Villanueva, whom Bae allegedly killed in 2003 for duping him in connection with his fighting cocks.
Villanueva has been on the police list of missing persons since 2003. An identification card kept by the police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Cavite identified Villanueva as a Japanese cuisine cook at the Manila Polo Club.
Police are also checking possible drug links.
Magdaluyo told The STAR that though the bones appeared to be human, they needed an analysis by forensic experts.
Lopez said he was not part of the crime. He earlier told police that Bae, who was killed by policemen during his shooting rampage, had buried around his house the bodies of other people he had murdered in the past years.
The bones will be sent to the Crime Laboratory at Camp Crame for analysis and identification.
Lopez, who is being held without bail as an accomplice of Bae in the mass killing, has been helping authorities dig up more information on Bae.