In The Know: Valeroso, who claims to have evidence on Mamasapano clash, was a member of YOU
MANILA — Retired Chief Supt. Diosdado Valeroso, 56, was a founding member of the Young Officers Union (YOU), a military fraternity that almost succeeded in toppling the administration of the late President Corazon Aquino in 1989.
Formed in 1988, the YOU was a younger version of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM), whose leaders spearheaded an aborted coup against then President Ferdinand Marcos that led to the 1986 People Power Revolution.
During the 1989 coup attempt against Aquino, YOU forces stormed the Armed Forces of the Philippines headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo, and then occupied a district in Makati City. The renegade troops were eventually subdued.
In 1992, the YOU, RAM and the Soldiers of the Filipino People entered into a peace process and signed a peace agreement with the government in 1995.
In 2001, Valeroso, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class ’82, was linked to an alleged plot against the administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He was then a special assistant to the executive director of the Philippine Center on Transnational Crimes. As a result, he was transferred to Mindanao.
In October 2001, then President Arroyo summoned Valeroso and former Supt. Rafael Cardeño, another YOU leader, to the Palace to deny the rumors.
The coup rumors became more credible after a former lieutenant, Baron Cervantes, who claimed to be a YOU spokesperson, was murdered on New Year’s Eve in 2001 just after he alleged that some active and retired military men were planning to destabilize the Arroyo administration.
Police had questioned Valeroso and Cardeño on Cervantes’ killing. It was reported that Valeroso had a lengthy exchange of text messages with Cervantes hours before he was gunned down.
Valeroso was later “cleared” of complicity when confessed gunman Joseph Mostrales and suspects Erlindo Torres and Jaime Centeno pointed to Cardeño as the one who had ordered the killing. (Compiled by Ana Roa, Inquirer Research) SFM
Sources: Inquirer Archives
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