MANILA, Philippines - Justice Secretary Leila De Lima has met with the special tracker teams from the Philippine National Police's (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) tasked to capture top 5 fugitives to tell them that Malacañan wants their efforts doubled.
The special tracker teams have been trying, for months now, to locate the whereabouts of ex-Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes and his brother, Coron Mayor Mario Reyes, who are charged for the murder of environmentalist and broadcaster Dr. Gerry Ortega; property developer Delfin Lee, charged for the Pag-ibig housing loan mess; retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan, wanted for the killing of student activists Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno; and Ruben Ecleo, Jr., who was convicted for the killing of his wife, Alona Bacolod.
De Lima said raising the P2 M bounty for each of the 5 is now being studied.
"So far, all operations of the PNP and the NBI have been negative for all 5, although may mga information," she said.
De Lima said the cooperation of the public should be encouraged to locate the high-profile fugitives.
"Wanted" posters bearing the pictures and personal details of the 5 have been distributed allover the country in order to achieve this, she said.
So far, only the Reyes brothers have been confirmed to have left the country.
With the assistance of Interpol, authorities found that the brothers left for Vietnam, then Thailand, and Malaysia. Reports that the Reyes brothers are already in America have not been confirmed as of yet.
"No such thing. They have not been issued US visas and their passports had been cancelled. There's no report that they are in the US," De Lima said.
Authorities are not disclosing the possibility that the other fugitives are hiding in metropolitan areas where crowds are thicker, and that they may be coddled by certain groups.