Reward for arrest of Negros councilor’s killers now P4.5 million
Gilbert Bayoran (The Philippine Star) - May 2, 2019 - 12:00am

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines — The reward for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators of the killing of Councilor Michael Garcia of Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental and his uncle Mark in an ambush two weeks ago has increased to P4.5 million.

Aside from the P2 million put up by Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. and Rep. Alfredo Benitez, Councilor Agustin Grande offered P2.5 million.

Grande, who was cleared by the provincial prosecutor’s office of involvement in the ambush, maintained that he has nothing to do with the crime.

The killing of Garcia and his uncle came three weeks after Councilor Jolomar Hilario, also of Moises Padilla who was seeking reelection, was shot dead by suspected New People’s Army rebels who entered his house in Barangay Inolingan.

Calls to replace the entire police force of Moises Padilla amid the killings have yet to be acted upon pending approval of the recommendation of the Regional Joint Security Coordinating Center for the Commission on Elections to place the town under its control.

Moises Padilla was classified as an election area of concern under category red due to intense political rivalry and presence of armed groups.

Two Army companies with 150 men, mobile police personnel and three armored personnel carriers were deployed in the town following the killings.

MICHAEL GARCIA MURDER
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