Tipster has not claimed bounty for Reyes arrests

THE unidentified informant who tipped off the Philippine National Police on the location of  murder suspects Joel and Mario Reyes has not made any move to claim the P2-million bounty from the government, the Philippine National Police said Saturday.

But Chief Supt. Victor Deona, head of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, said  the police will disburse the bounty to the informant who ended the police’s three-year hunt for the fugitive brothers who are accused of being behind the 2011 killing of journalist Gerry Ortega.

Reyes brothers

“If he decides to claim the reward money, the PNP is willing to give it,” Deona said, adding that the police had been looking for the Reyes brothers since March 2012 when they fled the country.

Deona did not reveal the identity of the informant or his place of residence, but he was sent an e-mail to the police on Sept. 8 revealing the whereabouts of the Reyeses. Mario used to be governor of Palawan while Mario was mayor of Coron, also in Palawan.

“We had a breakthrough on Sept. 8 when an anonymous informant sent an e-mail to the CIDG Complaint and Referral Monitoring Center informing us that he knew the whereabouts of the Reyeses,” Deona said.

Deona made the assurance as  Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said on Saturday the government would likely reject the brothers’ plea that they be granted hospital arrest because they lived “like tourists” while hiding out in Phuket, Thailand.

“[Justice] Secretary [Leila] de Lima will have a strong position on that,” Valte said in a radio interview over a state-owned Radyo ng Bayan, stressing, however, that the matter is still up to the Palawan regional trial court to decide on their request.

“Certainly, the prosecutors will have something to say about their proposed motion to file for hospital arrest, because we all know that before they returned home very recently, they have lived like tourists in Thailand,” Valte said.

This week, the Reyes brothers said that their lawyers will ask the courts to grant them hospital detention while undergoing trial.

The brothers, the mastermind for killing Ortega, an anti-mining and broadcast journalist, were apprehended in Thailand last Sunday and was flown to Puerto Princesa City on Friday and arrived to Manila the same day.

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