Ex-mayor, 31 others linked to Tagum Death Squad charged

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 04 2015 08:58 PM | Updated as of Mar 05 2015 09:25 PM

MANILA - A former city mayor and 31 others being linked to the Tagum Death Squad (TDS) were charged before the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday for the murders of several individuals in Tagum City, Butuan City, and Compostela Valley.

In a 30-page complaint, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) charged the following for multiple murder for the deaths of 82 individuals, and frustrated murder in connection with the attempted killing of 2 victims, from 2008 up to 2012:

- Rey T. Uy aka Chiong Uy, former mayor of Tagum City (2004-2013)
- Supt. Abraham Katre (retired), former head of Civil Security Unit
- Conrado Palen aka Rading, a New People's Army (NPA) rebel returnee and "team leader of TDS"
- Victor Cuaresma aka Kulot
- SPO1 Rolly Sabitsana, a former policeman and "team leader of TDS"

- PO1 Alex Maniego, a former policeman and present head of the Civil Security Unit of Compostela Valley
- Wrenstser L. Azarcon aka Ren Ren, alleged TDS triggerman
- Eduardo Cabutad
- Junard Cuaresma aka Tata
- Noel De Ocampo aka Noynoy

- Romnick Minta
- Jomarie Abayon
- Elbeth Tirado aka Trong Trong
- Junjie Olita
- Juan Olita aka Wani

- Allan Rosello
- Michael Ramos
- Ronilo Daclison
- SPO1 Divina Agocoy, currently detailed at the Tagum City Police Station
- SPO3 Jose Bingil, currently detailed at the Tagum City Police Station

- PO3 Leonard Abrenica, currently detailed at the Tagum City Police Station
- Rosalie Delumbar
- Rembert Delumbar
- Hernan Delos Reyes
- Nicasio A. Lemente aka Nick

- Richard Arnado
- Aka Jun Concepcion
- Aka Rodel
- Aka Jayson
- Aka Gary

- Aka Dan Dan
- Aka Tonton

The respondents include alleged TDS members, and individuals who contracted their services.

Respondents Minta and Abayon are currently in the custody of the NBI, and executed sworn statements to reveal "the composition of the TDS and its operations."

"The Tagum Death Squad was created allegedly to rid Tagum City of what Mayor Uy frequently referred to as 'weeds' such as thieves, snatchers. drug pushers, etc. [Uy] provided payment and equipment for the operations, using the [CSU] as cover to lawfully issue guns and motorcycles used in the killings. TDS members received salaries as employees of CSU doing nothing but just pass the time until instructions are given to kill somebody.

"Later on, however, the squad was used for contract killings to eliminate business competitors, enemies, and even police officers, who were threats to them or going against their interest, with the approval of Mayor Uy," the complaint read.

The killings took place in public places broad daylight, and carried out mostly with the use of .45-caliber pistols.

Payments were allegedly made to the TDS "as a group."

The complaint identified the following as members of the TDS:

- Maniego
- Azarcon
- Cabutad
- Cuaresma
- De Ocampo

- Tirado
- Olieta
- Rosilio
- Daclison
- Ramos

- Minta
- Abayon

"The TDS, as a group, got paid P5,000 for every killing, except in contract killings for which higher amount was paid to participants that they would divide among themselves. The money would come from Uy himself, through either Victor Cuaresma or Palen, then to Sabitsana," the complaint read.

The complaint, transmitted by NBI Director Virgilio Mendez, was a product of an investigation conducted by the NBI Task Force Tagum Death Squad (TFTDS).