MANILA — President Benigno S. Aquino III has assured the public that the government continues its efforts to pursue and arrest other high-profile fugitives wanted by the authorities.
“Sinabi ko naman ho sa inyo na tuloy-tuloy at hindi tumitigil ang ating mga law enforcement entities na habulin lahat ng mga may warrants of arrest,” the President said during an exclusive interview on Wednesday with Bombo Radyo Philippines.
“Pagpasensiyahan na lang ninyo na hindi ko puwede munang masabi sa inyo ang detalye ngayon,” he said. “Asahan na lang ho ninyo na tuloy-tuloy ang success natin diyan.”
The President indicated that there are “developments” in the search for such high-profile fugitives as former Palawan Governor Joel Reyes, his brother Coron Mayor Mario Reyes, and former Dinagat Island Representative Ruben Ecleo, Jr.
The Reyes brothers are the prime suspects in the killing of environment advocate Gerry Ortega in 2011. Ecleo, on the other had, has been convicted of parricide for the death of his wife.
“Meron nang developments, pero hindi ko ho puwedeng sabihin sa inyo. Dahil baka ‘pag naituro nating malapit na kayo, baka naman—baka mawala na naman ho doon,” he said.
President Aquino cited the recent arrest of retired Major General Jovito Palparan, one of the country’s most wanted fugitives.
“Katulad ‘nung kay General Palparan, matagal-tagal na rin hong nagkaroon ng sighting, pero ‘yung mga naka-sight sa kanya, mga intel agents, kulang ho, kulang raw sila, parang iisa o dadalawa ang nakakita several months ago. At naghintay tayo ng tinatawag na mag-surface nga muli,” he said.
“So kulang ang kakayahan ‘nung intel unit at that time na arestuhin siya dahil may mga kasama raw, diumano. Itong tuloy-tuloy na operations nagresulta nga sa pagkakahuli sa kanya dito sa Sta. Mesa,” he added.
Palparan, wanted for the disappearance of two University of the Philippines students in 2006, was arrested last August 12 in Sta. Mesa, Manila, by agents of the National of Bureau of Investigation after almost three years in hiding.