Family of slain mining exec sees ‘hope’ in search for justice | Inquirer News

Family of slain mining exec sees ‘hope’ in search for justice

/ 10:03 PM October 27, 2023

Samuel Afdal

Contributed photo

PROSPERIDAD, AGUSAN DEL SUR — The family of the late retired Col. Samuel Afdal, former president of Philsaga Mining Corp. in Agusan del Sur, has expressed hope that “justice would soon be served” to those who perpetrated his killing two years ago.

In a statement first circulated on social media on Friday, the Afdal family said it was “heartened by recent developments” in the case.


On Thursday afternoon, Afdal’s widow Evelyn filed a complaint-affidavit before the Agusan del Sur prosecutor’s office against three suspects, one of whom was identified to be the alleged mastermind.


READ: Alleged ‘brains’ behind killing of ex-mining exec face raps 

Named respondents in the complaint were Ryan Mark Baylon, who was described as a business associate of the former soldier-turned-businessman; Rosalino Degracia; and Alemar Awado.

Evelyn’s complaint largely stems from a confession of alleged gunman Jeffrey Mamerto, a former New People’s Army guerrilla, that Degracia and Awado were supposedly part of the plot to kill Afdal, upon Baylon’s supposed offer of P200,000.

According to provincial prosecutor Ceferino Dino Paredes III, Mamerto confessed to Capt. Begie de Jesus of the Army’s 75th Infantry Battalion, in the presence of his counsel, lawyer John Paul Merto.

Mamerto, who is currently detained at the Agusan del Sur provincial jail, claimed to have been paid P50,000 for pulling the trigger against Afdal on Oct. 26, 2021, while the latter was driving uphill to his new mining prospect in Barangay Santa Cruz, Rosario town.

The Inquirer reached out to Baylon through JB Earthmovers, which he heads as president, to get his side, but failed to get any response.


Because of this new information, the Afdal family said they are “seeing a glimmer of hope that justice would soon be served.”

The family described Mamerto’s naming his three other alleged co-conspirators in the crime as “a courageous act of letting the truth come out.”

“With this new information, we are hopeful that the cause of justice for SAGA will gather momentum,” the family further said, referring to the acronym for which their patriarch was known to friends and associates.

“What kept us in pain is the treachery that attended to his death which, when gleaned from his gentle and generous ways, is unimaginable,” it added.

“We call on everyone to let the wheels of justice roll unimpeded. This is the best tribute we can offer SAGA who helped bring law and order in Agusan del Sur as a fine soldier, and later, as a businessman, helped foster economic progress in its communities,” the Afdal family appealed.

Police Master Sgt. Ronald Esquibel, who originally investigated the crime, said that when Afdal was attacked, he was driving alone and did not carry any weapons; hence, he was not able to fend for himself.

Esquibel said that they did not know of any threat to Afdal’s life before the attack.

“He (Afdal) has no known enemies in the area,” Esquibel told journalists in a press conference in Davao City on Friday.

When he was at the helm of Philsaga, Afdal struck a path-breaking deal with the Manobo tribe that stipulated royalty payments way higher than what is mandated by law. He was also known for his philanthropy initiatives in the province.

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“We are grateful for the superb effort invested by the Philippine Army 75th Infantry Battalion, Rosario municipal police, and the Death Investigation Division of the National Bureau of Investigation, in ferreting out the truth about SAGA’s murder,” the Afdal family said.

TAGS: Mining, Philsaga

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