Ako Bicol Party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin said on Monday he might initiate a congressional probe into the reported disappearance of P33 million in the reward money offered to speed up the solution of Batocabe killing.
He was referring to the killing of Ako Bicol Party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe, 52, and his security escort, SPO2 Orlando Diaz, shot dead by unidentified assailants in an attack that happened in December 2018.
At the moment, Garbin said he was still waiting for the police to account for the P33 million that Malacañang and the House of Representatives released as reward money for the arrest of the suspects in the Batocabe killing.
“We are still waiting for the PNP to account how they distributed the reward money among the material witnesses to the Batocabe murder case,” Garbin, vice chairman of the House committee on justice, told the Manila Standard.
He said, “that should be accounted [for] because that’s people’s money having been given by the Office of the President and the House of Representatives.”
“Otherwise it [the disappearance] should be investigated,” Garbin said.
The suspects were arrested early this year but the Philippine National Police has not accounted for the funds despite reported complaints from witnesses that all they received was P8 million.
To make matters worse, the witnesses allegedly complained that those who facilitated the release of their reward even asked for “commissions.”
Lawmakers earlier raised up to P30 million to offer as a bounty for information leading to the arrest of the Batocabe killers.
Batocabe was about to ride his vehicle when four armed men on motorcycles fired shots at him near the Burgos Elementary School in Daraga, Albay.