Court martial proceedings for Durante, et al. start Tuesday

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 18 April)—The court martial proceedings against Brig. Gen. Jesus P. Durante, former Presidential Security Group (PSG) commander, and Col. Michael D. Licyayo, along with five other enlisted military personnel, tagged in the killing of model and entrepreneur Yvonette Chua Plaza will commence Tuesday, according to Maj. Mark Anthony S. Tito, chief of the Public Affairs Office of the 10th Infantry Division.

Brig. Gen. Jesus P. Durante and Yvonnette Chua Plaza. Photos from the Facebook pages of the 1001st IB and Plaza

Plaza was shot dead outside her rented house at Green Meadow Subdivision in Barangay Santo Niño, Tugbok in this city on December 29, 2022.

Durante, who headed the 1001st Infantry Brigade, was allegedly the mastermind in what appeared to be a premeditated killing of Plaza while Licyayo, the brigade’s deputy commander, provided the gunmen details of the victim’s whereabouts as well as logistics to execute the murder.

Other enlisted military personnel involved in the murder case are SSgt. Gilbert Plaza, SSgt. Delfin Llarenas Sialsa Jr., Cpl. Adrian N. Cachero, PFC Rolly Cabal, and PFC Romart Longakit.

Longakit remains missing, Tito said.

They were charged with violation of Article of War 96 or “Conduct Unbecoming of an Officer and a Gentleman,” and Article of War 97, which penalizes “all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and military discipline and all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the military service.”

In a press statement, Lt. Gen. Romeo S. Brawner, Jr., chief of the Philippine Army, approved the administrative charges against the military officials and personnel and subsequently ordered them placed under General Court Martial.

The General Court Martial is chaired by the Court President, Maj. Gen. Jose Eriel M. Niembra, who is the current 10th Infantry Division Commander.

The statement said that Durante and Licyayo were transferred to and detained at the Eastern Mindanao Command headquarters, Camp Panacan, Davao City last Monday to appear before the military court that will hear their administrative charges.

“The Philippine Army will uphold the highest form of discipline amongst its personnel in the performance of its mandate of serving the people and securing the land,” the statement read.

It said the Army does not tolerate wrongdoings and criminal acts of any soldier, be they officers or enlisted personnel. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)