Suspect nabbed in murder of 2 Japanese in Palawan


Police arrested on Dec. 30 a suspect in the murder of two Japanese nationals in Culion town, Palawan six months ago in Tarlac.

Palawan Provincial Legal Officer, lawyer Teodoro Jose Matta, confirmed Saturday afternoon the arrest of Sonny Anicete, alias “Tatan,” in Barangay Poblacion 1, Pura town, Tarlac by police personnel from the PRO 3 Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB).

Reported to be the founder of the Palawan-based “Commando” group, Anicete is now detained in a jail facility in Tarlac l. His arrest warrant was issued by Judge Arnel Cesar of Branch 49, Regional Trial Court (RTC).

“We’re trying to see if he can be sent back to Puerto Princesa within the holidays. If not, maybe the first week of January next year, to be surrendered to the RTC,” Matta said.

He said it was possible Anicete would be incarcerated at the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm (IPPF).

“He is very influential underground and can run away again if detained anywhere else. This goes to show too, that if you commit a crime in Palawan, it does not mean that you would go unpunished. Finally, the wheels of justice can now turn on this murder case,” he said..

Anicete, who has been on the run since June this year, was reported to be the recruiter of the suspected killers of Japanese nationals Itani Masaru, 59, and Arai Yoshihiru, 24.

The victims were shot and their bodies dismembered before being dumped into the water in a remote island located west of Galoc Island in Culion town, Palawan.

Those who have already been charged in the murder case were Hiroyuki Nagahama, 55, the supposed mastermind; and co-conspirators Reynante Labampa, Jovis Viscarra, alias “Jun”, and an alias “Bando.” (PNA)

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