MANILA, Philippines—Acting on a tip from an informant, the National Bureau of Investigation has recovered the skeletal remains of at least two persons in the septic tank of an unfinished house in a posh residential village in Parañaque along with evidence they may have been tortured.
Dr. Ruperto Sombilon Jr., an NBI medico legal officer who is examining the two sets of skeletons, said one of the victims appeared to have been killed much earlier than the other.
“Initial investigation of the bones recovered shows one of the victims could have been killed a year to two years ago, while the other cadaver, which still has soft tissues, could be a month old,” Sombilon said.
He said the remains of the victims were separately retrieved from the three chambers of the septic tank, located under the garage of a two-story structure on Multinational Avenue near the intersection with Tel Aviv Street in Multinational Village in Parañaque. The NBI was alerted to the skeletons by an informant last week.
Investigators recovered from one of the chambers of the septic tank bloodied shirts with holes on them that “could be due to stabbing,” Sombilon said, adding the victims “could have been tied and tortured and strangled.”
The medico legal officer explained that he made that assumption on the basis of the evidence gathered from the tank. However, he added, that “because of the state of the remains, the cause of death could not readily be ascertained.”
He said that one set of bones were smaller than the other and one could presume they were those of a woman.
“More examinations on the remains will be conducted to determine the gender of the victims,” he added.
Also recovered from the septic tank were telephone cords that could have been used to tie the victims.
Bon Huy Lim, chief of the NBI’s Criminal Intelligence Division, said the septic tank was sealed and cemented by the perpetrators to prevent the stench from coming out.
Lim said the house, which also has an unused swimming pool, was divided into several cubicles and served as sleeping quarters for the village’s security guards.
He also said that the security guards’ use of the abandoned structure was “tolerated” by the homeowners association.
He said the authorities had not enough information yet to establish ownership of the structure.