Fair probe called as army general dragged in model’s murder

Jan. 03, 2023
CCTV footage shows two suspects aboard a motorcycle shooting model Yvonne Plaza Chua at close range.

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Women’s group Gabriela urged authorities to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation on the murder of model Yvonne Plaza Chua as a military officer is dangled in this issue.

The group feared the police investigation on Chua’s death “could be whitewashed” as the name of Brigade Commander General Jesus Durante was mentioned in connection with her murder.

Chua was shot dead on the night of December 29 in front of her house in Green Meadows subdivision in Mintal. CCTV footage leaked online showed two suspects aboard a motorcycle shooting her at close range.

In a statement, Davao City Police Office spokesperson Catherine Dela Rey told ABS-CBN that there could be two possible motives for the crime which are still subject to their investigation.

Dela Rey said there could be a personal grudge based on her social media post; they are also looking at an angle of robbery since the attacker took her bag after the shooting incident.

On December 30, the Police Regional Office 12 has already ordered the creation of a Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) to investigate the killing upon the request of the Davao City Police Office.

“Nakikiramay ang GABRIELA sa pamilya at mga kaibigan ni Ms. Yvonne Chua. Kailangan ang mabusisi at patas na imbestigasyon sa kaso lalo na’t isang mataas na opisyal ng gobyerno ang nasasangkot (Gabriela extends condolences to the family and friends of Yvonne Chua. There should be a thorough and impartial investigation especially that a high-ranking government official is implicated),” said Clarice Palce, Gabriela Secretary General.

In an earlier post, Chua shared on her Facebook page photos of herself with bruises on her cheek and lips, and alleged Durante assaulted her.

The post was screengrabbed and has gone viral on Facebook.

Another screengrabbed post by a netizen showed an appeal to Vice President Sara Duterte to protect Chua from Durante, whom the netizen described as “her aggressor.”

Durante in an interview with Philippine Daily Inquirer denied involvement in the model’s death and is “saddened” by his friends’ death.

He clarified that the post by Chua was made on April 2022, and Chua had later retracted her statement.

Before serving as the commander of the Armed Forces’ 1001st Brigade, Durante served as former President Rodrigo Duterte’s close-in security and a member of the Presidential Security Group. (davaotoday.com)

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