A suspect has been apprehended and a criminal case filed in court but Bayawan City, Negros Oriental has not yet released the P100,000 reward money it had offered for the arrest of the suspects in the assassination attempt on Bayawan Councilor Victoriano Alabastro.
Bayawan Mayor Rene Gaudiel, however, said the reward offer still stands because that was the commitment of the city.
Gaudiel said he still has to verify the circumstances in the arrest and prosecution of suspected gun-for-hire Herman Escora of San Roque, Bayawan City, who had signed an extra-judicial confession that he was the team leader of a group contracted to kill Alabastro.
The Philippine National Police, represented by provincial police director Senior Supt. Edward Carranza and the local office of the National Bureau of Investigation, headed by agent-in-charge Dominador Cimafranca Jr., have filed a frustrated murder charge against Escora.
Seven others who were also charged are Jasper Tanasan, or “Bobong Tanasan” and “Jasper Sulaiman” of GK Village; Arnulfo Teves, or “Arnie”, of Barangay Malabugas; Pacito Libron of Malabugas; Alex Mayagma or “Alex” of San Roque; Remy Deocares of Banga; all in Bayawan City; Rio Siason, alias Sitong and Jomar Nicor, alias “Ketot Magbanua” of Chavanan, Basay town in Negros Oriental.
Gaudiel said the local government must be cautious in releasing the P100,000 bounty until it has been established who should receive it.
He also said releasing the reward money would be premature as the other suspects are still at large.
Escora and another suspected gun-for-hire, Anthony Lutero were arrested November 10 in Barangay Bonawon, Siaton town, about an hour’s drive south of this capital.
At the time, police officials announced the two were believed to be out to kill Governor Roel Degamo. However, the suspects denied this, saying they were instead offered P100,000 to liquidate a certain Maurecio Sioko, a coordinator of the state-run Bingo Millions game in Bonawon, where the governor’s residence is also located.
In his extra-judicial confession, Escora said he and the other suspects in the Alabastro slay-try, were offered P200,000 if they succeeded in killing the Bayawan councilor.*JFP
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