Philippine military

Who is ex-PSG head Jesus Durante, implicated in the murder of Yvonette Plaza?

Matthew G. Yuching
Who is ex-PSG head Jesus Durante, implicated in the murder of Yvonette Plaza?

UNDER MILITARY CUSTODY. A file photo of Brigadier General Jesus Durante

(1st UPDATE) Jesus Durante, head of the Presidential Security Group under Rodrigo Duterte, is one of the persons of interest in the murder of businesswoman-model Yvonette Chua Plaza

MANILA, Philippines – Former Presidential Security Group (PSG) head Brigadier General Jesus Durante III and Colonel Michael Licyayo were taken into custody by the Philippine Army on Thursday, January 26.

Durante, Licyayo, other military personnel, and a civilian are persons of interest in the murder of businesswoman-model Yvonette Chua Plaza on December 29, 2022.

Philippine National Police (PNP) director of the Davao region Brigadier General Benjamin Silo Jr. said that the act “was a crime of passion,” and that they are continuing to build evidence for the case.

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Military career

A Davao native, Durante is a graduate of the Philippine Science High School (Main Campus, 1988), and Philippine Military Academy Tanglaw Diwa Class of 1992.

He holds a master’s degree in defense analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School in California, United States, and a master’s in public management, majoring in development security from the Development Academy of the Philippines.

A “full-blooded Scout Ranger,” Durante commanded the 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion of the 1st Scout Ranger Regiment based in Mindanao. He received the PMA Alumni Association’s Cavalier Award for Army Operations in 2003.

He was also a military observer in the 2007 United Nations mission in Wau, South Sudan.

PSG tenure

Durante was appointed PSG commander during former president Rodrigo Duterte’s term on February 24, 2020. 

Prior to his appointment, he was the commanding officer of the PSG’s Presidential Escorts Battalion, providing immediate security to the president and other VIPs. (READ: ‘Full-blooded Scout Ranger’ Jesus Durante is new PSG commander)

Durante claimed responsibility in December 2020 for the unauthorized use of unregistered COVID-19 vaccines. The vaccine was administered to personnel who served as close-in security for Duterte. (READ: PSG chief: ‘I take full responsibility’ for unregistered vaccine use)

Then-senator minority leader Franklin Drilon called for Durante to be summoned to explain the unauthorized use of the vaccine. Drilon later said that it was no longer necessary to invite Durante, according to an Inquirer.net article.

In August 2021, Randolph Cabangbang replaced Durante as PSG chief. Durante was then designated as commander of the 101st Infantry Brigade in Davao de Oro.

According to Philippine Army chief Lieutenant General Romeo Brawner Jr., both civil and military investigations against Durante and company will proceed at the same time

He said that the military will respect judicial proceedings for Durante and other army officers.

Brawner added that investigations will continue to determine if the officers under Durante acted under orders to carry out the alleged murder. – Rappler.com

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  1. ET

    In this case, Passion could make an illustrious General a criminal. He will lose almost everything in his life just because of Love.