By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte has reminded congressmen to keep their promise to provide a P30 million reward to catch the killers of the late Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe.
The President said he already gave the P20 million bounty as promised but the lawmakers have yet to keep their word.
“Na-publish na mag-put up ng Congress ng P30 million. Di sabi ko, gawin na lang nating P50 (million). I will give P20 (million) para maging P50 (million). Sa awa ng Diyos, ako lang ang nag deliver ng P20 (million) ko.”
[It was published that Congress will put up P30 million reward. I said let’s make it P50 million, I’ll give P20 million to make it P50 million. With the Lord’s mercy, I delivered my P20 million promise],” he said.
“Ang Congress medyo wala pa. I-ni-imprinta pa daw ‘yung pera [Congress on the other hand has not yet given the reward. The money was supposedly still being printed],” he added.
Duterte cracked a joke that many lawmakers were “potential boxers” since they keep their fists closed refusing to give money. “Sabihin mo sa kanila magbigay kasi promise ninyo ‘yun [Tell them to give the money because they made a promise],” he said.
Duterte said he learned about the incomplete reward in the Batocabe slay case from Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde.
“Tinanong ko si Albayalde, ‘Nagbigay na ba ‘yung…’ Sabi niya, hindi pa [I asked Albayalde if they gave the money. He said not yet]. I’ll look for an opportunity to remind them para mag lakas naman ang loob ng police. It was solved in record time,” Duterte added.
Six suspects in the slay case of Batocabe were now in police custody. The suspects, who were either former military men, paramilitary members or former communist insurgents, are facing murder charges.
They claimed that Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo ordered the murder of the Ako Bicol lawmaker. Baldo has denied the charges.