KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 10 June) — An informant who was promised one million pesos cash reward for giving authorities reliable tips on how to arrest a fugitive claimed the money and the policemen he gave tips to are “nowhere to be found.”
The informant, who requested his name be withheld, said he was too frustrated to learn that the reports the police submitted to the Cotabato provincial government showed the arrest of Melvin Casangyao, one of the more than 150 inmates who escaped from the North Cotabato district last January, was “mere police operation.”
“It showed in the (Cotabato Police Provincial Office) reports that my contribution to the arrest of [Melvin] Casangyao was not included… but that was not the case. I and my ‘contacts’ have helped them arrest the fugitive,” the informant said in Cebuano.
The Cotabato provincial government has offered P1 million reward for those who could help arrest Casangyao, a high-risk inmate rescued by a certain Commander Derby of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and his team.
Casangayao, who is facing charges of murder and pushing illegal drugs reportedly financed his escape.
The fugitive was arrested in his hideout in Kidapawan City on May 19, four days before President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law for 60 days in all of Mindanao’s 27 provinces and 33 cities.
Abdullah Ali, provincial director of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in North Cotabato, clarified the cash reward is ‘still in effect,’ meaning, “the informant is entitled to it.”
During the Provincial Peace and Order Committee meeting on May 30, North Cotabato Governor Lala Mendoza ordered the lifting of all cash rewards for the arrest of fugitives of the provincial jail while Mindanao is under Martial Law.
“But the arrest of Casangyao was done on May 19. We have to remember the lifting of all cash rewards for fugitives took effect only during the peace and order committee meeting called for by Governor Mendoza on May 30. Therefore, the reward is still up,” said Ali.
Casangyao was recaptured by operating units of the Cotabato Provincial Police Office and is now back at the North Cotabato District jail under heavy guard. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)