Police, military hand P15.4m to four informants
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday awarded a total of P15.4 million to four informants for helping government forces in neutralizing seven local terrorists, including two high-value targets, Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Khayyam Maute.
Armed Forces chief Lieutenant General Felimon Santos Jr. and Philippine National Police head Police General Archie Francisco Gamboa led the awarding ceremony at the Intelligence Service Compound in Camp Aguinaldo.
The tipsters wore a black mask and a hat or had sunglasses and a hood.
The person who gave information about Hapilon and Maute received P12,400,000. Hapilon and Maute were killed during an operation in Marawi City last October 16, 2017.
According to the military, Hapilon had a P7,400,000 bounty on his head while Maute had P5,000,000.
Another informant was awarded with P600,000 for his contribution which led to the arrest of Juman Ibrahim, a member of the Maute group who was nabbed in Bagong Silang, Caloocan City by the police and military.
A person got P600,000 for giving vital information that led to the slay of Abu Sayyaf leader Mohammad Aklam Said who was killed during an encounter in Patikul, Sulu on August 16, 2016.
The PNP awarded P1,800,000 to an informant who had helped policemen in arresting Bads Adjam, Adjid Isnani and Adam Muhadam, all members of Abu Sayyaff, from June to July 2016.
For security reasons, Santos did not disclose the identities of the informants but assured the public they were presented to the Commission on Audit (COA) first before the awards were formally given.
Asked what took them so long to give the rewards, Santos said validation and authentication process takes time to make sure there will be no problem once they hand the cash to the informants.
“It takes time because of our process, we want to make sure that the claimant is the authentic one. There is a joint evaluation with the PNP-AFP. It goes to the process from operating troops up to area command then to committee. We just want to make sure that there will be no problem… Other factor is we want to ensure the safety of the informants on the right time we gave the (reward) to them,” Santos said during a press conference.
Gamboa also assured the informants they are ready to give them security once they receive threats.
“If ever their details will be leaked, the PNP is ready to provide appropriate security,” Gamboa said.
In his opening statement, Gamboa said the amount received by informants is monetary consideration offered by government for information that led to the arrest or neutralization of wanted criminals and terrorists.
“This is by no means any form of dead or alive bounty for the head of a wanted person. In effect, government is simply buying information, but not offering a prize for the head of these wanted terrorists,” he said.
The AFP and PNP urged people to report to authorities any suspicious individuals or activities in their surroundings.
“The fight against terrorism and the preservation of peace is a shared responsibility of everyone so we should all do our part in this whole of nation approach towards peace and development. We encourage every Filipino as well as the Media to actively participate in protecting our country and in making our communities safe,” Santos said. Ella Dionisio/DMS