They even received tips on what to do with their multimillion-peso reward.
The awarding ceremony at the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (Isafp) in Camp Aguinaldo got a dash of humor from Maj. Gen. Francisco Cruz, who put the informers at ease by joking with them on how they could use their money.
“You can now buy a bag,” Cruz told one informer when the latter’s worn-out bag burst open after he placed bundles of money.
The AFP deputy chief of staff for intelligence teased another informer, who was wearing a pair of slippers, that he could now get a pedicure.
Hooded jackets, masks
Cruz also told another informant that he could now start courting a girl, pointing to one of the female reporters covering the event. The informant gamely walked to one of the reporters and shook her hand.
Any girl in the room, or anyone for that matter, did not get a glimpse of how the informants looked like.
They wore hooded jackets and covered their faces with dark shades and masks to conceal their identities. They each carried old backpacks where they placed their money.
Cruz and Maj. Gen. Rolando Tenefrancia, head of the AFP Civil Relations Service (CRS) office, personally handed over the money to the informers.
They each carried old backpacks where they placed their money.
Call it hard-earned money, because of the risks involved in tipping off authorities on the whereabouts of the men on the wanted list of the country’s security forces.
One of the eight informers, who received their reward money, gave information on three members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) with a bounty of P350,000 on each head, earning for himself a little over P1 million.
Dr. Abu, Alan Jazmines
The biggest reward money was P7.4 million for the “neutralization” of ASG leader Ghumbahali Jumdail alias Dr. Abu who was killed in an air strike in Sulu earlier this year.
It was followed by the P5.6-million reward money for the arrest of alleged communist leader Alan Jazmines, alias Tomas or Arthur. Jazmines was captured in Baliuag, Bulacan province, on Feb. 14 last year.
ASG subleader Suhud Tanadjalin had a P3.3-million bounty on his head; ASG key member Usman Said, P1.2 million; and ASG members Imbo Bayani, Harun Jaljalis, Assan/Bin Laden, Burrong Rasul, Rommel Abbas and Samsudin Musa, P350,000 each.
Alleged communist leaders Robertson Anchez and Edgardo Sevilla each carried a P1.2-million bounty on their heads.
The government began offering reward money to tipsters who could lead the military and police to ASG leaders in 2001, followed by the reward system for communist insurgents in 2002.
P50 million yearly
Cruz said the reward money comes from the Office of the President, which allocates P50 million every year for the program.
He said offering bounty to informers was an effective tool to assist state security forces in getting wanted criminals.
“These informers are the ones who realize that there’s really no purpose for terrorism or insurgency, and they don’t want violence in their communities anymore,” Cruz told reporters.
The informers often go back to their communities.
Cruz said the informers were properly briefed by authorities about their safety.