A P1-million reward will be given for any information on the whereabouts of the perpetrators behind the recent killing of a businesswoman at a subdivision here, the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) said Tuesday.
Col. Alberto Lupaz, the DCPO director, said several concerned citizens offered the reward money to help fast-track the investigation.
“They don’t want to be named. If you know the identity and can give the information of the gunman and his cohort, you can immediately contact us,” Lupaz said in a press briefing here.
The victim, Yvonnette Plaza, was shot at close range by gunmen riding in tandem on a motorbike in front of her rented house at Green Meadow Subdivision, Barangay Sto. Niño, Tugbok District here on Dec. 29, 2022.
A closed circuit television (CCTV) footage making rounds on social media showed two unidentified assailants—one aiming the gun at the victim’s head while the other settled on the driver’s seat of the motorcycle—at the time of the incident.
The incident prompted Brig. Gen. Benjamin Silo Jr., Police Regional Office in Davao Region (PRO-11) chief, to create a Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) on Dec. 30, 2022 to focus on the case.
The “SITG Yvonette” is composed of 16 PRO-11 personnel headed by Col. Thor Valie Cuyos, the deputy regional director for operations as SITG supervisor; Lupaz, the DCPO director as task group (TG) commander, and Maj. Randy Rajah Ramos, the chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, as assistant TG commander.
Lupaz said the SITG Yvonette is looking at two persons of interest based on the information posted on social media and the CCTV footage.
“We are currently investigating the legitimacy of the post. We will try to see how this thing is true. As of now, we cannot mention names, and it is very premature as of the moment for us to divulge names,” he said.
Maj. Eudisan Gultiano, PRO-11 spokesperson, appealed to the public not to make conclusions based on the postings on social media, saying the police will be updating the result of the investigation as soon as they have completed evidence gathering.
“The purpose of SITG is for the case to be solved faster and file a case against the perpetrators,” she said.
Gultiano said they are also looking at robbery and personal grudge as motives for the killing.
No hand in victim’s slay
Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante lll, the Army’s 1001st Infantry Brigade commander, whose name is being dragged into the killing in several social media posts, also demanded justice for Plaza’s death.
To clear his name, Durante sent a statement to the Philippine News Agency on Tuesday asking that justice be served for Plaza, whom he described as a friend.
“Yvonne was a friend. My name is being dragged based on a Facebook post made last April 2022 wherein I allegedly hurt her. She later retracted the post and issued a statement that I did not in any way harm her,” Durante said.
He also extended his condolences to the Plaza family.
Durante urged the public with information that would lead to the resolution of the crime to coordinate with the authorities.