What Went Before: Fugitives Palparan, Reyes brothers, Ecleo, Lee
In August 2012, President Benigno Aquino III offered a reward of P2 million each for the arrest of high profile fugitives retired Army Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan, former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes and his brother, former Coron Mayor Mario Reyes, former Dinagat Island Rep. Ruben Ecleo Jr. and Globe Asiatique developer Delfin Lee.
On Aug. 28, 2013, the President announced a P10-million bounty for the arrest of Janet Lim-Napoles, alleged architect of the P10-billion pork barrel scam. Napoles surrendered to President Aquino on the same day the bounty was announced, but her brother Reynald “Jojo” Lim remains at large.
According to presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, while Napoles’ P10-million bounty had been withdrawn following her surrender, the P5 million reward for Lim’s arrest still stands.
The Napoles siblings disappeared on Aug. 14, 2013, hours before the Makati City Regional Trial Court issued a warrant for their arrest in connection with the serious illegal detention of their cousin and former aide Benhur Luy. Luy blew the whistle on his employers’ alleged racket, which involved the alleged conversion of P10 billion in pork barrel funds into kickbacks, using dummy foundations set up by Napoles and the forged signatures of several officials.
Labeled “The Butcher” by political activists, Palparan went into hiding in December 2011 when he was ordered arrested by the regional trial court in Malolos, Bulacan province, in connection with the 2006 abduction of University of the Philippines students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño.
The Reyes brothers disappeared in March 2012 after the regional trial court in Puerto Princesa City issued warrants for their arrest in connection with the murder of Palawan broadcaster and environmentalist Gerry Ortega.
Ecleo went into hiding after he was meted a 31-year jail sentence for graft by the Sandiganbayan in 2006. In April 2012, a Cebu City court sentenced Ecleo to life imprisonment for the killing of his wife. He remains the object of a nationwide manhunt.
Lee, who had a standing arrest warrant issued by a Pampanga court in May 2012 for syndicated estafa, was arrested in a five-star hotel in Manila on March 6 this year. Lee’s estafa charge stemmed from a P7-billion housing loan scandal involving Globe Asiatique’s Xevera housing projects in Bacolor and Mabalacat towns in Pampanga. Inquirer Research
Source: Inquirer Archives
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