Businessman, 2 ex-rebels indicted for killing of Agusan mining exec

Trader, 2 ex-rebels indicted for Agusan mining exec slay

/ 07:40 AM February 07, 2024

Businessman, 2 ex-rebels indicted for killing of Agusan mining executive

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, Philippines — A businessman and two former New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas were indicted for allegedly conspiring to kill in 2021 a retired soldier who has turned into a gold miner in Agusan del Sur province.

In his resolution dated Jan. 18, 2024, Agusan del Sur provincial prosecutor Ceferino Dino Paredes recommended the filing of murder charges against respondents Ryan Mark Baylon, Rosalino Degracia, and Alemar Awado for the killing of retired Col. Samuel G. Afdal last Oct. 26, 2021.


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


Afdal, known as Saga among associates, was president of Philsaga Mining Corp., which extracted gold in a tenement in Rosario. He sold his interests in the company and started a new one, Rosario Manobo Mining Corp. (RMMC).

Afdal was driving along an uphill road when ambushed in Barangay Santa Cruz. Although hit, the former soldier managed to drive toward the RMMC base camp and sought help. He was rushed to a local hospital, where he later lapsed into a coma and died on Nov. 15, 2021.

The indictment against the three accused was based mainly on the confession of Jeffrey Mamerto, the alleged gunman.

Mamerto had pointed to Baylon, Afdal’s business associate president of the firm JB Earthmovers Inc., as the mastermind of the kill plot, allegedly offering his former NPA colleagues Degracia and Awado P200,000 to do the hit job. Mamerto, in turn, was contracted for P50,000 to pull the trigger against Afdal.

Based on the findings of his preliminary investigation, Paredes filed last Jan. 31 an amended information before Regional Trial Court Branch 26 here, adding the names of Baylon, Degracia, and Awado as suspects.

Business motive?

In the amended information, Baylon was tagged as a principal by inducement for offering the cash reward for the hit job and also as a principal by indispensable cooperation by giving Degracia, Awado, and Mamerto critical information so they could carry out the ambush. Degracia and Awado were tagged as co-principals by direct participation.


On Nov. 15 last year, during a pretrial hearing, Mamerto’s confession was presented before the court. In plea bargaining, he pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of homicide, earning a 10-year prison term.

In her complaint for murder against Baylon, Afdal’s widow Evelyn said that the accused allegedly defrauded her family of their ownership stake in JB Earthmovers, which was “obliterated” from company records after her husband’s death.

Afdal had invested P60 million in JB Earthmovers and had a 50% stake, while his son had 1%. An estafa case is pending before the Davao City prosecutor’s office.

READ: NPA rebels ask P25 M in exchange for 3 mine execs, says vice gov

Before his death, Afdal, according to Evelyn’s complaint, had JB Earthmovers audited to determine the reason for its business losses. Evelyn also noted the accounts of witnesses that several days after her husband’s death, Baylon attempted to take control of RMMC.

This reporter had tried to contact known numbers of Baylon and his firm, JB Earthmovers, but he has yet to respond.

Since his name cropped up as a suspect in the crime late last year, Baylon had been coy to media requests for interviews to get his side of the issue. He and his two other co-accused skipped clarificatory hearings on the case set by Paredes last December.

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But Baylon was seen participating in the Mindanao leg of the 2024 BOSS Ironman Motorcycle Challenge and was part of one of two teams led by Sen. Ronald dela Rosa, who dropped by the town’s municipal hall on Jan. 28.

Afdal and Baylon were riding buddies of Davao City’s “On Any Sunday Riders Club” which counts among its members former President Rodrigo Duterte and Dela Rosa.

TAGS: Agusan del Sur killing, Philsaga Mining Corp., Rosario Manobo Mining Corp., Samuel G. Afdal

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