MANILA - Philippine authorities will search at sea next week for the bodies of a Japanese man and his Filipino girlfriend who are reported to have been killed more than a month ago in Manila.
Joel Tovera of the National Bureau of Investigation told Kyodo News on Friday a team from his agency will join a salvage team and some individuals in trying to locate and retrieve the bodies of the missing couple in the waters of Quezon province south of Manila.
Tovera said three local men who reportedly confessed disposing of two bodies, believed to be those of the missing couple, will guide authorities.
Tovera identified the missing as Yuji Okada and Honeylyn Cirunay who lived in a condominium in the Mandaluyong City.
Okada, who has been in the Philippines since 1998 and holds an executive position in a private company, was last seen alive June 27, while Cirunay, who used to work in Japan, was last contacted June 28.
Based on investigation by Tovera's office, the two were believed to have been strangled June 28 by the boyfriend of Okada's alleged adoptive daughter after a heated argument at Okada's house in Paranaque City, another suburb in Manila.
Investigators are looking at the possibility Okada had a rift with his adoptive daughter over property in Manila.
The bodies of Okada and Cirunay were reportedly then brought to Quezon for disposal, which the three local men did by burying the bodies on June 30 and then deciding to throw them into the sea on July 1.
One of the three men told Kyodo News he cooperated with authorities after learning they were fooled by their "master" who told them the bodies were those of "bad elements" in society.
He said none of the three saw the bodies because they did not open the plastic bag that contained them.
Tovera said they are looking at charges to be filed against at least four suspects within the month.
None of the suspects are in custody.
The three local men are being recommended to as state witnesses.