MANILA — President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Tuesday chided some congressmen for not delivering their promise of giving the PHP30-million bounty to anyone who could provide leads to those responsible for the murder of Ako Bicol Party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe last December 22.
Days after Batocabe’s murder, the President said he would provide an additional PHP20 million in reward money on top of the PHP30 million already pledged by Batocabe’s colleagues at the House of Representatives.
“Kaya noong Batocabe, sir, na-publish na nag put up ang Congress ng PHP30 million, kaya sabi ko gawin nating PHP50 (million). I will give PHP20 (million) para maging PHP50 (On the Batocabe case, it was published in reports that the Congress put up a PHP30 million bounty. That’s why I said, let’s make it PHP50 [million]. I will give PHP20 [million] so it becomes PHP50 [million]),” Duterte said in his speech during the assembly of the Provincial Union of Leaders Against Illegality (PULI) at the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena City.
“Sa awa ng Diyos, ako lang ang nag deliver ng PHP20 (million) ko, ang Congress wala pa. Ini-imprinta pa lang yung pera (But I’m the only one who delivered the PHP20 million. Congress has not. Perhaps they’re still printing the money),” he quipped.
Duterte joked about most congressmen being “potential boxers” who had their fists clenched when it comes to releasing money.
He also lauded the Philippine National Police (PNP) anew for quickly solving Batocabe’s murder and naming Daraga, Albay Mayor Carlwyn Baldo for allegedly masterminding Batocabe’s assassination.
“It was solved in record time,” Duterte said.
Earlier, PNP Chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde, recommended the awarding of the reward money, worth PHP50 million, to Emmanuel Judavar, Baldo’s former security aide who provided vital information on Batocabe’s killing.
Albayalde said Judavar became the key witness in identifying the mastermind and gunmen behind the killing of Batocabe by providing information that confirmed the political angle lead, which was then being pursued by investigators.
Batocabe was killed on December 22 last year while attending a gift-giving event for senior citizens and persons with disabilities in Barangay Burgos in Daraga, Albay.
He was supposed to run for mayor of Daraga in this year’s mid-term elections.