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Three of the so-called "Big 5" wanted suspects remain in hiding, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) said.
The body continues to receive information from tipsters on the purported whereabouts of retired Army Gen. Jovito Palparan, former lawmaker Ruben Ecleo, and Globe Asiatique’s Delfin Lee, CIDG Director Samuel Pagdilao Jr. said on Wednesday.
However, it declined to give more details to prevent compromising the ongoing manhunt.
Pagdilao admitted that the CIDG faced several difficulties in accounting for the suspects, despite a massive manhunt and a hefty bounty.
“Meron lang talagang kahirapan, that is acknowledged. Some of them have the capability in terms of resources, the money, to endure a long time in hiding. They have the support kasi political figures ang iba. So yun ang mga hurdles, problems that we have encountered but please be assured that the PNP is not stopping. We are continuing with our efforts,” Pagdilao told reporters.
He also acknowledged that former Palawan Governor Joel Reyes and his brother Coron Mayor Mario Reyes were able to flee the country using a fake passport and an assumed name. He said the two brothers were moving from one Asian country to another.
“The two are moving around adjoining countries,” Pagdilao said, citing information obtained from various sources.
Pagdilao said the CIDG is closely coordinating with its law enforcement counterparts in other countries to arrest the two fugitives.
He dismissed reports that the current reward system is ineffective in arresting the fugitives.
“It’s not correct to say na hindi nagwowork kasi marami tayong imporamsyon na natatanggap. In fact, kung i-plot natin yung mga information we are receiving, marami rin (If we plot the information we are receiving, these are already a lot)," he said. "Our maps are already full of pins. So these are information coming from community members who are encouraged/motivated by…out of their civic duty as citizens of the republic; they’re also motivated by something that they will earn that will be beneficial to them."
The government has set aside P2 million each for information that will lead to the arrest of the Big 5.