The Philippine military announced Wednesday that it had dismissed a prominent army general after he said he was the “mastermind” behind the murder of a woman police were trying to blackmail him with. Police said Wednesday that Brigadier General Jesus Durante, the former chief of the presidential security forces under then-Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte, ordered a woman killed outside his apartment last month.
Durante was dismissed as commander of the 101st Brigade after being named as a person of interest in the murder of Yvonette Chua Plaza, Philippine Army Lt. Gen. Romeo Browner said.
Regional Police Brigadier General Benjamin Shiloh told a press conference that the victim “had very sensitive information about General Durante and she threatened the defendant.”
Silo called it a “crime of passion,” and authorities said the gun used to kill Plaza, a businesswoman and model, was a military-issued firearm.
The military has vowed to conduct an investigation.
Police said they asked state prosecutors to file criminal charges of murder and obstruction of justice against Durante, the brigade’s deputy commander and sergeant in the same unit.
They also recommended filing murder, theft, and other charges against several other suspects, including four other soldiers in Durante’s military unit based in the southern Philippines.
Witnesses to the shooting that occurred outside the victim’s Davao City apartment have identified the shooter and the driver of the motorcycle used by the killer, according to a police statement.
The suspect, who was subsequently arrested, handed over the handgun used in the shooting and testified that two senior Army brigade officials were involved in the murder, the statement added.
Durante is not the only high-profile person in the country to be accused of ordering the recent murders..
Vantag was suspended by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. last October, amid an investigation into the death of imprisoned gangster Jun Vilamour.550,000 pesos ($9,650).