MANILA, August 17, 2012— Malacañang’s move to raise the reward for information that will lead to the arrest of several high-profile fugitives only showed that the criminal justice system is failing, a Catholic priest said.
Human rights advocate Fr. Edu Gariguez of the National Secretariat for Social Action – Justice and Peace (Nassa) said it is not even good to offer reward money because it is strictly police work.
“The government should really show the effectiveness of the criminal justice system and prove the capabilities of our authorities in arresting criminals,” Gariguez said.
Nassa is the social action arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
According to the priest, intelligence gathering has funding and is a basic police work and failing to do so is a failure to do their duties.
“Now, if the result is not good then there is a problem with the system that’s why they can’t make arrests,” he said.
President Benigno Aquino III yesterday raised the bounty for three high-profile fugitives – retired army general Jovito Palparan, former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes, and Ruben Ecleo of Dinagat Island – to P2 million each.
He also offered P2 million-reward money for information that will lead to the capture of housing developer Delfin Lee.
The government also reminded the public of the existing P5.6 bounty each for communist leaders Benito Tiamson and George Madlos.
Gariguez expressed hope that authorities can finally find lead for the arrest of said fugitives particularly Palparan who has been subject to a manhunt over alleged abduction of two student activists since 2006.
“The Aquino administration should do its serious resolve to really get all these wanted elements,” he said.
He claimed that he himself was a victim of harassment from the military when Palparan was assigned in Mindoro.
Gariguez added that he was among those in the alleged military liquidation list as “terrorists” because of his strong campaign against mining there. [CBCPNews]