PNP still clueless on top 5 fugitives
Despite its success in arresting more than 14,000 wanted criminals during the first five months of 2012, the Philippine National Police (PNP) yesterday admitted that this accomplishment was being eclipsed by the PNP’s continued failure to account for the “Big 5” high-profile fugitives.
PNP spokesperson Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo said the police tracker teams that was created to go after the five—Globe Asiatique owner Delfin Lee, retired Army Major General Jovito Palaparan, former Palawan governor Joel Reyes, his brother Mario Reyes and Dinagat Representative Ruben Ecleo—had yet to receive any useful information that would help in catching them.
“For some reason, they have been able to elude arrest. One of the factors is that they still have resources and loyal supporters who may be helping them in running away from the law,” Cerbo told a press briefing Wednesday.
He said PNP chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome will soon be issuing instructions to the 17 regional police directors to step up their operations against the five fugitives.
“We guarantee the public that we will be relentless in our efforts to track down these five high-profile individuals,” Cerbo said.
Lee went into hiding after a Pampanga regional trial court ordered his arrest last month for allegedly defrauding the government of some P6.65 billion in bogus housing loans.
Palparan, called “The Butcher” by leftist activists, is wanted for allegedly ordering the abduction of two missing University of the Philippines students.
The Reyes brothers are accused of masterminding the killing of Palawan-based environmentalist and broadcaster Gerry Ortega in January 2011.
Ecleo, leader of the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association religious cult, was recently sentenced to up to 40 years in prison for killing his wife.
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