Sen. Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao said he will not withdraw his P500,000 reward offer for those who will help solve the case of flight attendant Christine Dacera.
Pacquiao maintained that the persons involved in the alleged rape-slay of the 23-year-old should surrender to the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other law enforcement agencies even after the Makati City Prosecutors' Office recently ordered the release of three of them due to "insufficient" evidence of their participation and culpability in the incident.
The senator brushed aside appeals from the suspects to recall the bounty placed on their heads due to safety and security concerns.
"Mananatili ang aking itinakdang pabuya na nagkakahalaga ng P500,000 upang matunton ang iba pang mga sangkot sa kasong ito (My reward offer of P500,000 will remain so that other involved personalities will be traced)," Pacquiao said in a statement.
"Let it be clear however that this bounty was put up only to ensure that all the people who were present on the night leading to the discovery of Christine’s lifeless body would come forward and shed light about this incident. They must submit themselves to investigating authorities so that we will know what really happened," he added.
Pacquiao said the bounty will be converted as financial aid to Dacera's family "if and when all the persons of interest have voluntarily surrendered and not arrested, and have submitted themselves to investigating authorities."
In insisting his position on the Dacera case, the boxer-turned-lawmaker told the suspects: "Kung tunay niyong kaibigan at kayo ay may malasakit kay Christine at sa kanyang nagluluksang pamilya at mga mahal sa buhay, nakikiusap ako na bigyan ninyo ng halaga ang inyong pagkakaibigan sa pamamagitan ng paglalantad sa mga totoong nangyari kaugnay sa kanyang kaso."
(If you are true friends and really cared for Christine and her grieving family and loved ones, I ask you to value your friendship by revealing what really happened with her case)
"Three of your friends – John Pascual dela Serna III, Rommel Daluro Galido, and John Paul Reyes Halili – have all surrendered themselves to tell their story about what had happened. By doing so, they were not only able to help investigators piece together the events that transpired but they have also shown that they have nothing to hide. Like them, be brave enough to share the truth. Share your story so that we may understand," he added.
"Wala pong dahilan upang kayo ay matakot kung kakampi ninyo ang katotohanan (There is no reason to be afraid if you are on the side of truth)."
Pacquiao said he is also willing to help protect and ensure the safety of the suspects.
Aside from Pacquiao, ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Eric Yap also offered a P100,000 reward for those who will tip authorities on the whereabouts of the suspects in Christine's death.
Dacera was found unconscious in a hotel room in Makati City hours after celebrating the New Year with some friends. Initial medico-legal examination reportedly concluded that the cause of her death was ruptured aortic aneurysm.
However, the PNP and her family insisted that the flight attendant was raped and killed.
The respondents, on the other hand, denied the allegations and maintained there was no foul play in the Dacera's death.