MANILA (UPDATED) - President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday raised the bounty to P50 million for the arrest of the killer of Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Rodel Batocabe.
"May binulong si Sen. (Bong) Go the reward is at this time P30 million, I’m raising the ante, I’m putting plus P20 to P50 (million). Wag mo ibulgar, wag mo ibigay ang pangalan. Magbili ka ng cellphone na ito, yung murahin," Duterte told reporters in a chance interview.
Photos shared by former Special Assistant to the President Bong Go show Duterte talking to the widow of the slain lawmaker, Gertie, and the slain lawmaker’s relatives and friends.
Although saying authorities have no suspects yet, Duterte said the slay was politically motivated.
"Wala, it could be anybody. When I say politically motivated, it could be the mayor, governor. But my favorite name now is the mayor. But I’m not saying who that mayor is," he said.
"Sinabi ng widow, I was still in Davao, sa news when I was listening before flying in, mayor alam mo na alam ko ang kalokohan mo, sabi ng asawa. Kaya sabihin ko na lang din, mayor I join the widow, baka ikaw nga."
Batocabe, 52, was distributing Christmas gifts in his hometown in Daraga, Albay when he and his police escort were gunned down by at least 6 assailants.
Batocabe, who was eyeing Daraga's mayoral seat in the 2019 elections, earlier claimed rivals were using armed groups to meddle with the polls.
Philippine National Police chief Dir. Gen. Oscar Albayalde said they already have 6 persons of interest but have yet to apprehend or investigate them in order to link them to Batocabe's alleged political rival in the upcoming elections.
Duterte, meanwhile, warned the person behind the killing and threatened to slap him.
"Tagarito at buong Bicol region alam nila kung sino. Ako I have my reasons to suspect the guy. Wag mong gawin yan kasi hindi lahat ng tao matatakot mong ganun. Kaya pag ikaw ang natamaan nito, babalik ako dito pahiyain kita. You know what, akyatin kita sa bahay mo, sampalin kita. Kung gusto mo subukan, gawa ka pa isa kalokohan. Ngayon pag napundi ako sayo, t****** mo babarilin kita," he said.
"P*****-i** pag nangyari sa pamilya dito ikaw yan. Gusto mong subukan, subukan mo. Di ka rin tatagal, sa totoo lang. Di kami g*** dito na paglaruan ninyo," he later added.