"Tipster" asks about reward for arrest of N. Cotabato most wanted fugitive

Peace and Order • Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:31 PM  •  178   0
By Malu C. Manar
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File images of most wanted fugitive in N. Cotabato, Melvin Casangyao, and his rescuer, Nasser Esmael (inset) . (Photo courtesy of John Unson)
File images of most wanted fugitive in N. Cotabato, Melvin Casangyao, and his rescuer, Nasser Esmael (inset) . (Photo courtesy of John Unson)
KIDAPAWAN CITY  – An informant who was promised one million cash as a reward for giving authorities reliable tips on how to arrest a fugitive claimed the money and the policemen he was talking to are ‘nowhere to be found.’

The informant, who requested to withhold his identity, said he was too frustrated to learn that the reports the police submitted to the Cotabato provincial government showed the arrest of Melvin Casangyao, one of the more than 150 inmates that escaped from the North Cotabato district jail (NCDJ) last January, was “mere police operation.”

“It showed in the [Cotabato Police Provincial Office] reports that my contribution to the arrest of [Melvin] Casangyao was not included… but that was not the case. I and my ‘contacts’ have helped them arrest the fugitive”, the informant said in Cebuano.

The Cotabato provincial government has offered a P1 million reward to those who could help arrest Casangyao – considered a high-risk inmate rescued by a certain Commander Derby of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and his team.

Casangyao, according to intelligence reports, financed his escape.

On May 19, three days before Martial Law was declared in Mindanao, the fugitive was arrested in his hideout in Kidapawan City.

Abdullah Ali, provincial director of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in North Cotabato, has clarified the cash reward is ‘still in effect,’ meaning, “the informant is entitled to it.”

During the Provincial Peace and Order Committee (PPOC) meeting held on May 30, Cotabato Governor Lala Mendoza ordered the lifting of all cash rewards for the arrest of fugitives of the provincial jail while the island of Mindanao is still under Martial Law.

“But the arrest of Casangyao was done on May 19.   We have to remember the lifting of all cash rewards for fugitives took effect only during the peace and order committee meeting called for by Governor Mendoza on May 30. Therefore, the reward is still up,” said Ali.

Casangyao, charged for murder and illegal drug pushing, was recaptured by the operating units of the CPPO.

He is now back at the North Cotabato District jail under heavy guard. 
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