Filipino denies involvement in death of Japanese couple – DFA

By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

January 24, 2024, 8:45 pm

MANILA – One of the two Filipinos arrested in Japan for allegedly abandoning the bodies of a married couple in Tokyo has denied any involvement in the crime.

In a television interview on Wednesday, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Deputy Assistant Secretary Bryan Lao reported that Hazel Ann Baguisa Morales, one of the arrested Filipinos, already has a court-appointed counsel that denied all the accusations against her.

"Nabisita ng ating Embassy sa police station si Hazel Ann, binigyan ng very limited time, about 20 minutes lang 'yung panahon na binigay sa ating embahada, pero nakausap nila at na-ascertain naman kalagayan niya (Our Embassy [personnel] were able to visit Hazel Ann within a very limited time, about 20 minutes only, but they were able to talk and her situation was ascertained),” he said.

He added that Morales “assures her family that she’s alright”.

The DFA can provide Morales with a private lawyer upon her request.

Morales was arrested on Friday after 55-year-old Norihiro Takahashi, and his 52-year-old wife Kimie, were found dead in their residence in Tokyo's Adachi Ward.

According to Kyodo news, the couple’s bodies were found with multiple stab wounds and signs of struggle.

The Embassy personnel have not visited the other Filipino male who was also arrested for alleged involvement in the crime.

Lao explained that Japanese authorities conducted an investigation following the couple’s child report that they were missing until their bodies were found covered with plastic.

"In the course of the investigation they reviewed some security footage at doon nga nakita na 'yung ating kababayan ay nasa premises (and that footage shows they were in the premises),” he said.

It has not been confirmed whether the accused know each other, he added.

Earlier, DFA Undersecretary Eduardo De Vega clarified that the accused were arrested due to abandonment and not for killing the couple.

In Japan, anyone could be charged with abandonment upon failure to report finding dead bodies. (PNA)