Army has own probe into Davao model’s murder

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - The Philippine Star
Army has own probe into Davao model�s murder
Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante lll, commander of the 1001st Infantry Brigade, presents the list of the Most Wanted New People's Army rebels in a press briefing on Saturday (Feb. 26, 2022) at the 1001IB headquarters in Maco, Davao de Oro.
Twitter / PNA

MANILA, Philippines — A unit of the Philippine Army is conducting its own investigation into the supposed involvement of Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante in the murder of model-businesswoman Yvonette Chua Plaza in Davao City.

Army chief Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner, in a text message to reporters yesterday, said the 10th Infantry Division is looking into the case.

“We are waiting for the results of the probe,” he said. “We have advised General Durante to cooperate in the investigation and answer the allegations against him.”

Durante is the commander of the Army’s 1001st Infantry Brigade.

Durante, who was accused by Plaza in a social media post last year of beating her up, has denied any involvement in the killing.

The Philippine Army said it is coordinating its probe with the Police Regional Office 11.

“So far there is no formal request or complaint against General Durante. We could not take action based on social media posts,” the Army’s 10th ID spokesman Capt. Mark Tito said.

“We will wait for the result of the investigation of the PNP. We will not condone any wrongdoing of our personnel, including senior officers,” he added.

Police have coordinated with social media personality Xian Gaza to shed light on the murder of Plaza.

Maj. Eudisan Gultiano, spokesperson for the Davao region police, said they tried to contact Gaza through his social media accounts.

“We sent him a message but there was no reply. We cannot reach him,” Gultiano said.

Gaza’s name cropped up following reports that he named a military official as the alleged mastermind in Plaza’s murder in a Facebook post.

Based on the information they received, Gultiano said Gaza resides abroad.

Police said they also received information that Gaza has deleted his post on social media.

Plaza, 38, was gunned down by two unidentified assailants as she was about to enter her house in Barangay Sto. Niño, Davao City on Dec. 29, 2022. –  Emmanuel Tupas

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