Hold-departure order sought for brains in Agusan exec's slay

Hold-departure order sought for brains in Agusan exec’s slay

/ 12:22 PM April 23, 2024

Warrant of arrest against Ryan Mark Baylon, suspected mastermind in the killing of retired Col. Samuel Afdal, a gold mining executive in Agusan del Sur.

Warrant of arrest against Ryan Mark Baylon, suspected mastermind in the killing of retired Col. Samuel Afdal, a gold mining executive in Agusan del Sur.

PROSPERIDAD, AGUSAN DEL SUR — The family of retired Colonel Samuel Afdal, a gold mining executive slain in Agusan del Sur in 2021, had sought to prevent the alleged mastermind behind the killing from traveling outside the country.

Lawyer Rommel Fontanilla, counsel for Afdal’s widow Evelyn, told journalists in Davao City on Friday that their request for a hold-departure order (HDO) against Ryan Mark Baylon had been filed at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 85, where the murder case is being heard upon the order of the Supreme Court.


Fontanilla said the HDO should help ensure that Baylon, who remained at large, would not flee the country but face justice and answer the allegations that he conspired with three former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels to ambush Afdal on Oct. 26, 2021, as the latter was driving uphill toward the base camp of Rosario Manobo Mining Corp. (RMMC) in Barangay Sta. Cruz, Rosario town of Agusan del Sur.


Although he survived the attack, Afdal, who owned RMMC, lapsed into a coma and died on Nov. 15, 2021.

READ: Trader, ex-rebel ordered arrested for Agusan Sur exec slay

This reporter texted the last known numbers of Baylon and his construction company, JB Earthmovers Inc., for comment, but there was no reply as of Tuesday morning.

Mindanao ride

Since he was formally charged in October last year, Baylon has not honored invitations to appear in clarificatory hearings set by the Agusan del Sur provincial prosecutor’s office, the RTC Branch 6 in Prosperidad, where the case was originally heard and the Quezon City RTC.

But he was seen as among the riding buddies of Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa during the Mindanao leg of the BOSS Ironman Motorcycle Challenge in January.


Baylon, who grew up in Pigcawayan town, Cotabato province, was last known as a resident of Sitio Masapya, Barangay Consuelo in Bunawan town, Agusan del Sur. Various sources said he also maintained a house in Davao City.

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

On April 5, Quezon City RTC Presiding Judge Juris Dilinila-Callanta issued arrest warrants against Baylon and former NPA guerrilla Rosalino Degracia alias Okie for the murder of Afdal.


“With the arrest warrant(s) out, we deeply hope and pray that our law enforcement agencies act with dispatch to bring the suspects before the court of law and face justice. We also hope and pray that the flow of justice will go on unimpeded,” said a statement issued by the Afdal family on Friday.

Lawyer Xilex Barroga said they learned on Thursday that Degracia, a resident of Rosario, Agusan del Sur, had surrendered to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Davao City.

A third suspect, Alemar Awado alias Dongkoy, also a former NPA guerrilla, had surrendered, also to the CIDG, even before Callanta issued a warrant for his arrest.

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

Awado is now detained in a jail in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur, for another murder charge.

A fourth person, former NPA rebel Jeffrey Mamerto, had confessed to having pulled the trigger against Afdal for P50,000 and got a 10-year prison term for the lesser offense of homicide in a plea bargaining deal.

He has been jailed in Prosperidad and had implicated Awado and Degracia in the kill plot allegedly hatched by Baylon with a P200,000 price tag.


“One of those up for arrest is a business associate of Saga. The thought that he has the gall to betray Saga and us is disheartening and reprehensible,” the Afdal family statement further said, referring to the name the retired Army official is known to close friends and associates.
Afdal owned a majority stake in JB Earthmovers based in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur, with Baylon as president.

Before his ambush, Afdal had the company audited to determine the cause of its persistent losses, his widow Evelyn said.

Major Ralph Perez, Bunawan municipal police chief, said they served the arrest warrant against Baylon at the address indicated, but he was not there. He assured the police that he would do everything to have him arrested.

Perez admitted that the Bunawan police had been facing challenges in arresting Baylon.

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“The suspect is not a simple person. He has the ability, but his world is getting smaller. His warrant is all over the Philippines, so he will be arrested anywhere in the country where he could be seen,” Perez said in Filipino.

TAGS: Agusan del Sur, mining executive

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