Durante, Licyayo face charges for violation of two Articles of War: PH Army chief

Bianca Dava, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 15 2023 09:07 PM

MANILA - The Philippine Army has served charges for violation of two Articles of War against two of its officials tagged in the murder of a Davao City-based model and businesswoman in December last year.

Army chief Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. said Wednesday that a copy of the charges for violation of Article of War 96 (conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman) and 97 (conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline) were served against BGen. Jesus Durante III and Col. Michael Licyayo, who were relieved as commander and deputy commander of the 1001st Infantry Brigade, respectively.

Durante and Licyayo are tagged in the killing of Yvonette Chua Plaza.

Plaza was gunned down on Dec. 29 last year by two men, who were riding a motorcycle, in Davao City.

“The pre-trial investigation is still ongoing. We already gave a copy of the charges to both Gen. Durante and Col. Licyayo. They have given their counter affidavits already. So our Provost Marshal and Judge Advocate General in the (Philippine Army) are studying now the affidavits of these two respondents,” Brawner told reporters at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City.

After their assessment, the Provost Marshal and Judge Advocate General will make a recommendation to Brawner whether the case would warrant a court martial or the charges will be dismissed.

The general court martial is the military’s highest level trial court that is responsible for trying service members for alleged serious crimes. It will look into the administrative aspect of the case and will be conducted parallel to the trial by a civilian court.

Cases for murder, theft and obstruction of justice were filed in a civilian court in January against the suspects in the killing of Plaza.

Aside from Durante and Licyayo, also named respondents were Staff Sergeants Gilbert Plaza and Delfin Sialsa Jr.; Corporal Adrian Cachero; and Privates First Class Rolly Cabal and Romart Longakit.

“There might be other charges also, not just against these two officers, but also against the enlisted personnel. We are still in the phase where we are conducting the initial or pre-trial investigation,” Brawner noted.


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