Remains of missing boy found on Romualdez’s Laguna property
LOS BAÑOS, Laguna, Philippines—Skeletal remains believed by police to be those of a 13-year-old boy missing for more than a year were found on a lot owned by the family of former first lady Imelda Marcos.
On Saturday, police and local authorities here exhumed the bones from a shallow grave in the remote section of Mt. Makiling in Barangay Batong Malake.
The property is owned by the Romualdezes but has long been left vacant by the owners, according to Superintendent Ricardo Dalmacia, Los Baños police chief.
Dalmacia said in a telephone interview he believed the remains belonged to Mark Anthony Villar Perez, who was reported missing by his family last year.
Perez, a relative of the caretaker of the Romualdezes’ two-story resthouse on Mt. Makiling, supposedly witnessed it being burgled and then burned in 2012 and was believed killed by the thieves to cover up the crime.
Janos Lapis, Batong Malake village chief, said a man who claimed to have taken part in the boy’s killing, came forward two weeks ago.
The man, whose face was covered and talked only to the policemen, led the authorities to the site, about 40 meters from the Romualdezes’ house, where they buried the boy in a three-foot-deep grave.
The man, now under the custody of the police, said that Perez was killed on August 6, 2013.
“He said he was being bothered by his conscience so he came forward,” Lapis said.
Initial findings by the police showed that the child sustained fractures on his right cheek and at the back of the head, which could have resulted from blows with a hard object.
“The body was covered with a wooden window, which was already rotten, before it was covered with soil,” said Lapis, who was also present during the exhumation.
The exhumation took some time because the authorities had to secure permission to enter the property, which is outside the Makiling forest reserve. The bones were taken to the police crime laboratory for further testing.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.