Minority leader and Manila sixth district Rep. Benny Abante Jr. sought the investigation under House Resolution 384 in the exercise of the oversight function of the House and in aid of legislation.
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House probe on P35 million Batocabe bounty sought
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - October 2, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives will conduct an inquiry into the disbursement of the P35 million reward for the arrest of the killers of Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe last December.

Minority leader and Manila sixth district Rep. Benny Abante Jr. sought the investigation under House Resolution 384 in the exercise of the oversight function of the House and in aid of legislation.

Abante cited “disturbing information” that several witnesses did not receive their share of the bounty. He said the witnesses also expressed concern not only for their safety but also of their families.

“Witnesses have expressed their reluctance to testify over the alleged failure to deliver the bounty that was promised to them,” Abante’s resolution read.

Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin said the Philippine National Police (PNP) should explain how it distributed the bounty.

Garbin said lawmakers who contributed P13 million wanted accountability from the PNP.

 President Duterte pitched in P20 million while P2 million was raised by the Albay provincial government.

“We will wait for the PNP accounting on how it distributed the money among the... witnesses... We want a fast resolution of this case,”  Garbin said. 

Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Michael Defensor, chairman of the public accounts committee, said he supports the legislative inquiry.

Batocabe and his police escort Orlando Diaz were gunned down after a gift-giving event in Barangay Burgos.

The supposed plot to kill Batocabe was hatched in August last year after he announced his plan to run for mayor of Daraga.

Garbin had criticized a court ruling that allowed former Daraga mayor Carlwyn Baldo, the alleged mastermind in the killing, to post bail.

RODEL BATOCABE
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