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Missing couple, friend found dead

MARAWI CITY – Reported missing since Sunday, a couple and a companion were found dead in Lanao del Sur, on Tuesday morning.

The cadavers of Japeth Ceballos, wife Merliza, both car dealers; and their friend Rex Villanueva were found dumped on the roadside in Barangay Sigayan in Mulondo town on Tuesday morning by Maranao passersby travelling from nearby Masiu town towards Iligan City.

Passersby took photos of the bodies and informed local authorities, who then brought the victims’ remains to a funeral parlor in Iligan City.

Local media reports said the three had been missing since Sunday after they went to see a prospective car buyer.

The victims sustained multiple gunshot wounds and their hog-tied bodies were dumped side byside as shown in photos posted by concerned Maranao social media nitizens.

A report citing information from the Ceballos’ family said the victims were instructed to meet the buyer in Iligan City, but Japeth insisted to the take the vehicle to Lanao del Sur against the will of Merliza and Villanueva.

In a report, Senior Supt. Oscar Nantes, Lanao del Sur police director, said the transaction may have been done in Iligan but the buyer was probably from Lanao del Sur.

Still missing were the vehicle for sale and a day’s worth of earnings from Merliza’s poultry business, it was learned. (Ali G. Macabalang)