MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) -- The skeletal remains exhumed in the backyard of the man who went on a shooting rampage in Kawit, Cavite last January 4 are human, police said on Thursday.
The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Cavite led by Inspector Reynaldo Magdaluyo said it was confirmed by the municipal health officer that the skeletons found in gunman Ronald Bae's backyard in Barangay Tabon are human.
"Sa ngayon ay tumambad nga sa amin ang mga human skeletons. Ito ay kinabibilangan ng binti at hita at pelvic bones. Sa mga tao nga ito," Magdaluyo told radio dzMM.
Also recovered from the site were a skull, a pair of shoes, slippers, shorts and underwear.
Authorities said the skeletons found in Bae's backyard belonged to at least two to three men and had been buried for at least five years already based on the extent of decomposition.
Although the police cannot establish yet the cause of death of the victims, they said it is possible that their bodies were chopped into pieces first before they were buried.
Magdaluyo said that according to John Paul Lopez, Bae's co-conspirator in his January 4 shooting spree, the skeletons belonged to Bae's former helper Teodulo Villanueva, and another man only known as alias Tomas, who were both allegedly murdered by Bae years ago.
"During the tactical interrogation we conducted against John Paul Lopez...lumalabas na si Ronald Bae ang pumatay sa dalawang ito."
Lopez earlier said that Villanueva was killed by Bae in 2003 after duping him in connection with his fighting cocks.
Villanueva had been on the police list of missing persons since 2003. An identification card kept by the police CIDG in Cavite identified Villanueva as a Japanese cuisine cook at the Manila Polo Club.
"One time ago, nahuli itong si Ronald Bae ng Imus Police at siya ay nakulong. Hininala niya na itong sina Teodulo Villanueva at Mang Tomas ang naglaglag sa kanya sa police authorities kaya siya nakulong. So nung paglabas niya ay ginantihan niya ito at pinagpapatay niya at binaon sa kanyang backyard," Magdaluyo said.
In another interview with radio dzMM Thursday afternoon, Magdaluyo said: "Lumalabas sa imbestigasyon talagang may history na ng pagpatay itong si Ronald Bae...kung saan 'yung mga taong nakakaalam na ng kanyang malawakang network ng illegal drugs ay tineterminate niya na."
While Lopez said he was not part of the crime, the police are assuming he was present when Bae murdered the victims and buried their bodies around his house.
"Although 'di niya tahasang sinasabi, ang assumption namin ay he was present because postitive ang kanyang information at 'di naman tayo nagkamali at nahukay nga natin itong mga biktima ng summary execution ni Ronald Bae," Magdaluyo said.
He said if Lopez is proven guilty, another criminal case for murder will be filed against him.
Meanwhile, a certain Roberto Caimol has also been tagged in the killings.
"Dating nagtatrabaho ito kasi kay Bae at nakakaalam din ng mga lihim na operasyon ni Bae," Magdaluyo said.
Multiple murder charges were filed against Lopez last January 9 for being an accomplice of Bae in his shooting spree, which resulted in the deaths of 8 people including Bae. -- With reports from Eric Dastas, dzMM; Dominic Almelor, ABS-CBN News; With The Philippine Star