House to turn over additional P8M reward to PNP for full resolution of Batocabe murder
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives will turn over to the Philippine National Police (PNP) the additional P8 million cash reward for the full resolution of the murder of Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe, Negros Occidental 3rd District Rep. Alfredo Benitez said Tuesday.
Benitez, who led the fundraising for the cash reward in the lower chamber, said the House has already given an initial P5 million to the PNP and they would hand over another P8 million this week or the next.
“Ang House, we’ll just give it straight to the PNP… Bahala na sila (It’s up to them how to utilize this),” Benitez told reporters in an interview, saying that he believes the case against incumbent Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo and his cohorts was “airtight.”
The congressman’s statement came after President Rodrigo Duterte hit the House, claiming it failed to produce the P30-million bounty they promised.
Benitez said 160 lawmakers out of 197 who pledged to give P30,000 had already given their share.
He said a separate P15 million would be coming from the Ako Bicol party-list while the province of Albay would give P2 million.
Duterte also pledged P20 million, raising the total bounty to P50 million.
Batocabe and his police escort, SPO2 Orlando Diaz, were shot dead while leaving a gift-giving event for senior citizens on December 22. The 52-year-old legislator was supposed to run against Baldo in the May 13 elections.
The police have identified Baldo as the mastermind behind Batocabe’s murder. The mayor and his alleged cohorts are now facing murder charges. Baldo has denied the allegations. /ee
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