Ex-PSG commander Durante arraigned

DAVAO CITY – Brig. Gen. Jesus P. Durante, the former Presidential Security Group (PSG) commander, and Col. Michael D. Licyayo, along with other military personnel tagged in murder of model and entrepreneur Yvonette Chua Plaza, were arraigned on Tuesday before the military court constituted to hear their administrative charges, a military official said on Wednesday.

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

Maj. Mark Anthony S. Tito, chief of the Public Affairs Office of the 10th Infantry Division, told MindaNews that the arraignment started 10:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Tito declined to discuss any information on the merits of the case for lack of authority but added that formal hearings have yet to be scheduled.

He said that officials from the headquarters of the Philippine Army can speak about the development of the proceedings before the General Court Martial.

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.

It said that Durante and Licyayo were transferred and detained in the Eastern Mindanao Command headquarters, Camp Panacan, Davao City last Monday to appear before the military court.

Plaza was shot dead outside her rented house at Green Meadow Subdivision in Barangay Santo Niño, Tugbok 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 the 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. The latter remains missing, Tito said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)