MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has increased anew the bounty for the capture ‘dead or alive’ of those who killed four police personnel in Ayungon, Negros Oriental from PHP3 to PHP5 million, Malacañang announced on Wednesday night.
“We wish to inform the public that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has raised the reward money to PHP5 million for the capture, dead or alive, of the killers of the Negros policemen and to PHP100,000 for every participant in the killing,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
Panelo said Duterte has also issued a stern warning “that members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Negros have gone overboard and that their killings have become brazen and unbridled where men in uniform, as well as civilians are murdered with impunity”.
“The land disputes in Negros have escalated to killings among – and between – the claimants. The communist rebels have exploited the land unrest and turned the province into a quasi-state. They have arbitrarily chosen who will own the lands subject of the controversies surrounding them,” Panelo added.
He said the Chief Executive warned the enemies of the state in the island of Negros “that he will use his emergency powers under the Constitution to quell the lawless violence engulfing the island, as well as to crush all forms of threats aimed to destroy the government”.
“The President will obey the constitutional command to serve and protect the Filipino people at any cost, and to fiercely save the Republic from imminent ruin,” Panelo said.
“The President vows to replicate the atrocious acts done by the communist rebels to the civilians, the barangay officials and the law enforcers against these murderers in defense of our countrymen,” he added.
On July 25, Duterte raised the reward for the third time to PHP3 million. He earlier offered a PHP1 million reward for the capture of the killers but later increased it to PHP2 million.
The slain cops were Cpl. Relebert Beronio, Pat. Raffy Callao, Pat. Ruel Cabellon, and Pat. Marquino de Leon who are all intelligence personnel from the 704th Mobile Force Company Regional Mobile Force Battalion of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Central Visayas.
The four cops were on their way to the detachment at Sitio Nabinca on July 18 when armed men suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) shot them in different parts of their bodies.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. Jelly Musico / PNA – northboundasia.com