Japanese allegedly commits suicide in Cebu

By Annie Perez, ABS-CBN News Central Visayas

Posted at Aug 19 2014 10:28 AM | Updated as of Aug 19 2014 06:28 PM

MANILA – A Japanese national was found dead inside his room at a boarding house in Cebu City on Monday. Investigators suspect that his death was most likely due to suicide.

Masaki Hashimoto, a 31-year-old Osaka native, was found dead inside his room at a boarding house in Barangay Kasambagan on Monday afternoon.

Eric Mabesa, Hashimoto's housemate, said he heard a thud coming from the room of the Japanese before dawn on Sunday but he just ignored it.

However, Mabesa and fellow housemates decided to open the Japanese's room after noticing that the latter had not yet come out of his room.

Mabesa said they then discovered Hashimoto's body hung behind his door with a nylon rope coiled around his neck.

Hashimoto's landlady, Flor Tagala, said the Japanese was supposed to leave for Japan on August 19. She said Hashimoto, who was taking up an English as a Second Language (ESL) course, moved in to her boarding house about three weeks ago.

The Japanese previously stayed in a hotel.

Tagala said during her last conversation with the Japanese, the latter even thanked her and told her he would donate some of his belongings, such as appliances, to the boarding house.

Hashimoto's housemates said the Japanese preferred to be alone most of the time, sometimes carrying a bottle of beer or two on the way to his room.

Police have yet to determine what pushed Hashimoto to commit suicide. They have yet to inform Hashimoto's family, through the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines, about the incident.