BARUGO, Leyte, March 27, 2015 — Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani, Jr. remarked that for police officers or any arresting authority to receive bounty for the head of wanted terrorists and criminals is proper, only if reward money is willingly given and not demanded.
“[The arresting officers] were supposed to be doing their duty,” he said referring to the law enforcers’ sworn duty to arrest lawless elements in society. “If they succeed, people can voluntarily give them a reward and it is not improper for them to receive [it], if such reward is willingly and intentionally given to them.”
Bacani said that although getting a share of the bounty is not totally a sin nor necessarily unjust, it is not the police officers’ right to ask for it. However, if the bounty giver is willing to give additonal money to them, it should not lessen the amount promised to the informant.
“The question [of] justice in this issue depends on the intention of the reward-giver, to whom did he intend or to whom did he promise the bounty or the reward,” the prelate emphasized, commenting on a retired official of the Philippine National Police – Criminal Investigation and Detection Group’s assertion that it is a common practice or an “unwritten rule” in the police force to split the reward money three ways, leaving a meager portion to informants.
The bounty is intended to remunerate the informant for revealing the whereabouts of wanted criminals, leading to the their apprehension. Retired police Supt. Jess Kabigting disclosed this arrangement in an interview with ABS-CBN news. (Eileen Nazareno-Ballesteros/CBCP News)