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PNP allots P25-million reward for arrest of Maguindanao massacre suspects

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine National Police chief Director General Jesus Verzosa has allotted at least P25 million as rewards for the arrest of perpetrators of the Maguindanao massacre.

Quoting intelligence reports, Verzosa said militiamen linked to the cold-blooded killings are in hiding in Metro Manila.

The PNP’s Board of Rewards will convene today to deliberate on the rewards to be offered for information leading to the capture of 164 wanted politicians, policemen, soldiers and militiamen.

Verzosa has directed the board to expedite deliberation on the reward money so it could be implemented as early as this week.

The Board of Rewards is comprised of officials from the Directorate for Intelligence, Criminal Investigation and Detective Management, and the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management.

Director Eugene Martin, Directorate for Intelligence chief, said they would classify who among the 164 suspects would get higher rewards.

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“The reward would be based on their participation on the massacre,” he said.

“Those who actively participated would get the higher reward.”

Several members of the Ampatuan clan, including Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., policemen and civilian volunteers, are now in government custody for their alleged participation in the Maguindanao massacre.

Police had identified at least 164 suspects, mostly members of Mayor Ampatuan Jr.’s civilian volunteers organization, Special Citizens Armed Auxiliary, policemen and soldiers who remain at large.

Martin said police investigators would give the Board of Rewards a clear picture of the suspects’ participation in the crime.

“We will come up with a graduated reward based on their participation on the crime,” he said.

Martin said the funding for the rewards would come from the budget of his office.

Once the deliberation of the rewards is over, their recommendation would be forwarded to Verzosa for approval, he added.

Police have readied the photos of the 100 wanted militiamen and the corresponding rewards before they launch a nationwide manhunt for them.

Policemen will secure the judge and prosecutors who will handle the murder case against Datu Unsay Mayor Ampatuan in Quezon City.

Chief Superintendent Elmo San Diego, Quezon City police director, said the judge and prosecutors will be given security to and from Camp Crame, where the trial of the Maguindanao massacre would be held. – Non Alquitran, Reinir Padua


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