Crack police group formed to hunt ‘Big Four’
MANILA, Philippines—A special task group has been activated to help track down ex-army general Jovito Palparan Jr., Palawan Governor Joel Reyes, Coron Mayor Mario Reyes and convicted Dinagat Island Rep. Ruben Ecleo Jr., a Criminal Investigation and Detection Group official said Monday.
Led by Senior Superintendent Keith Ernald Singian, Deputy Director for Operation, CIDG chief, Director Samuel Pagdilao Jr. said the 80-man task group was formed for a more aggressive manhunt for the fugitives, also known as the “Big Four.”
But apart from the task group, Pagdilao said that he also directed all regional and provincial chiefs to mobilize the nationwide network of Community Investigative Support (CIS) and to prioritize the gathering of information, not limited to the whereabouts of the Big Four, but also to identify the personalities that continuously provide refuge and financial support. He said they will be included as CIDG’s targets of operation.
“Make it a top priority task for all CIS to help the CIDG in finding leads on the whereabouts of fugitives Palparan and the two Reyeses so that they can be brought to the bar of justice to answer for their crimes,” he said.
Pagdilao also said that he has directed the CIS in Caraga region to put more efforts in finding out if Ecleo, who is convicted of parricide, is still holed-up in Dinagat Island and identify several places where he may be possibly taking refuge.
Meanwhile, in response to reports saying that some folks were aiding Palparan and the Reyes brothers, he appealed to public to instead help convince them to surrender for them to be able to prove their innocence in court.
Pagdilao stressed that these efforts to arrest Palparan, who is being charged with kidnapping and illegal detention, and the Reyeses, who are being tagged in the killing of environmentalist and broadcaster Gerry Ortega, do not mean that they have been found guilty already. He added that Palparan and the Reyes brothers should see this instead as an opportunity to clear their names in court.
Pagdilao said that to help the goverment speed up the manhunt against the Big Four, the CIDG has dedicated three telephone numbers that concerned citizens may reach and call for any confidential information that will provide lead to the operatives on the whereabouts of the Big Four. The numbers are 02-7228993, 09277170752, 09283384482 and 09327018909.
Pagdilao appealed to the civic duty and social responsibility of every citizen to help warned pranksters and those who would use the CIDG hotline numbers to mislead the authorities that the CIDG will not hesitate to track them and made them liable for obstruction of justice.
The CIDG will utilize its own websites (www.cidg.gov.ph and www.cidg-cis.com) in posting pictures and other essential details on the personalities of the Big Four that can be used by CIS volunteers as well as the other concerned citizens to report information relative to the manhunt operation.
“In order to satisfy the public’s clamor to bring the Big Four to the bar of justice, government’s pronouncements particularly those made by President Benigno Aquino III and PNP chief, Police Director General Nicanor Bartolome, must be matched with aggressive manhunt operation coupled with proactive information operations that use all available methods of dissemination and feedback mechanism like social networking sites,” Pagdilao said.
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