MANILA — Tagum City Mayor Rey “Chiong” Uy and his alleged army of assassins are now facing multiple murder and frustrated murder charges for 82 extrajudicial killings and two murder attempts in the the town of Dujali, Davao del Norte; Maco and Wahab in Compostela Valley; and Butuan City.
The National Bureau of Investigation filed the charges in the Department of Justice on Thursday following the testimonies of two self-confessed hitmen.
The witnesses include former New People’s Army member Romnick Minta and Jomari Abayon who were both involved in the killings in the so-called Tagum Death Squad (TDS).
Following the orders of the former mayor and his handlers, Abayon allegedly contracted to kill Minta and his brother Mario on Sept. 8, 2012.
Minta, however survived and is now lodging a complaint against Abayon.
Less than a third of the extrajudicial killings included in the 71-page report of the international organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) were covered in the charges.
Calling for immediate government action, the HRW said the TDS was responsible for the killing of up to 298 people from January 2007 to March 2013.
NBI Director Virgilio Mendez recommended the prosecution of Uy and 29 others including retired and current police officers, ex-convicts, gangsters and ex-communist rebels hired as assassins, and former local officials who ordered hits on certain individuals.
“Uy personally ordered the killings/liquidations of six of the 84 victims in the presence of Palen, Cuaresma, Sabitsana and Katre… Some of the allegations of the complainants … are likewise worth noting, as they will further establish the involvement of former Mayor Rey Uy [in] the killings,” said the NBI.