Shocked by Durante’s murder rap, Bato says: Don’t risk career, future on illicit affair

FILE PHOTO: Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa during a hybrid hearing on January 25, 2023. (Voltaire F. Domingo/Senate PRIB)

FILE PHOTO: Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa during a hybrid hearing on January 25, 2023. (Voltaire F. Domingo/Senate PRIB)

MANILA, Philippines — The alleged involvement of the former head of the Presidential Security Group  (PSG) in last month’s murder of fashion model and businesswoman Yvonne Chua Plaza came as a shock to Senator “Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa.

Tagged as the mastermind, Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante III is now facing a murder complaint along with six Army soldiers, his alleged conspirators, over the December 29 killing of Plaza in Davao City.

“Nagulat talaga, nagulat,” Dela Rosa said in an interview with Senate reporters on Friday. “Dahil nga, inisip ko, general ka na, one-star general ka isusugal mo ‘yung career mo at saka ‘yung future ng pamilya mo dahil lang sa isang babae. Parang ganun ang tingin ko, huwag mong isugal. Kung totoo ‘yan.”

(I was surprised, really surprised. Because I thought you were a general already, a one-star general, then you will risk your career and the future of your family for a woman? That’s how I look at  it, don’t risk it if it’s true)

READ: Ex-PSG chief, 9 aides tagged in model’s slay

Like Durante, dela Rosa also served during the time of former President Rodrigo Duterte as head of the Philippine National Police.

The former PSG chief, however, has denied any involvement in Plaza’s murder.

“Yvonne was a friend,” Durante was quoted as saying in a Philippine Daily Inquirer article posted last January 3 or just days after Plaza’s killing.

READ: Army exec denies hand in Davao model’s slay

“My name is being dragged based on an FB (Facebook) post made last April 2022 wherein [she said] I allegedly hurt her. She later retracted the post and issued a statement that I did not in any way harm her,” he explained.

To avoid getting into this kind of problem, Dela Rosa advised everyone – not just the uniformed  personnel – against having extramarital affairs.

“Kahit hindi pulis, kung gustong mambabae, mambabae man talaga. ‘Yung pari nga, nagkakaanak nga ‘yung pari. Kahit sino ‘yan, pe-pwede. Basta, ingat ka talaga, mapunta ka sa tamang babae. Kasi kung napunta ka sa sakit ng ulo, problema mo. Kaya dapat you know how to handle extra things,” he said about the possible lesson one should learn from the incident.

“Pero mas maganda, huwag ka na pumasok sa problema. Talagang problema ‘yan ‘pag pumasok ka ng extramarital affairs,’” he said.

READ: Durante in Army custody; court martial looms