Screengrab from Aksyon TV

Editor’s Note: This story was originally published in the Varsitarian on March 24, 2001.

THE MECHANICAL engineering sophomore whose complaint of corruption in the Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC) resulted in the relief of the ROTC Commandant was found dead and decomposing in the Pasig River near the Jones Bridge last March 18.

Mark Welson Chua’s body was fished out of the river by employees of the Tres Amigos Funeral Homes after it was discovered by passerby, police said.

It was only later that the body was identified as Chua’s because of the dog tag. (Chua was a former ROTC cadet officer). He has suddenly disappeared on March 15 and was reported missing.

The body was wrapped in a carpet while the head was wrapped in cloth and packing tape, according to the victim’s father, Welson Chua. The hands and feet were bound by shoelaces.

Mr. Chua said investigators told him the manner in which the body was wrapped was the work of the person who was a “professional” and who could have a “military background.”

The young Chua, 19, together with ROTC cadet Romelo Yumul, led several students, in filing a complaint of bribery and extortion against the Department of Military Science and Tactics (DMST) with the Department of National Defense (DND) and the UST Office for Student Affairs and Community Services (Osacs).

The complaint became a subject of a Special Reports article in the Varsitarian and was given due course by the DND, resulting in the dismissal of several staffers of the UST ROTC. The commandant, Maj. Demy Tejares, was also relieved.

According to Yumul, Chua was supposed to meet last March 15 an “agent” who had asked to work as student intelligence networks (SIN) in the University. Yumul refused the offer.

The same day, Thursday, at 10 p.m., the Chua family went to Jose’s restaurant to eat dinner. Welson Chua asked his brother to text Mark, and instruct him to follow. They texted him several times but all they got was the reply, “m on my way dad.”

At dawn at Friday, the family received a call from men who claimed they had kidnapped Mark and asked for P3 million.

The family received another call later asking them if they had the money, but Welson Chua said he did not have it. The person on the other line said, “No money, no son.” That was the last time they heard the kidnapper.

A source who refused to be named said Mark had told him he saw someone seemingly casing their condominium one night. But he shrugged off the incident.

The elder Welson said his son and Yumul had received a death threat in the form of a letter.

“We know who did it (but we have to) get (sufficient) evidence. I hope his death won’t make everyone afraid (to) continue what he was fighting against. He paid it with his life. I hope it meant something,” said Welson Chua.

As of press time, the body is at the Arlington Funeral Homes. The interment will be on March 25, 9 a.m., at the Everest Memorial Park, Memory Hills, Susana Heights, Cavite. Marie Carisa U. Ordinario



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.