Nobody gets P1.3M reward on King’s killers

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Friday, June 27, 2014


NOBODY is going to take home the P1.3-million reward previously offered by the bereaved family of Richard King and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, not even the Davao City Police Office (DCPO).

Duterte said the deal was clear: the reward money will only be given to those who can give information leading to the arrest of the man who shot and killed the businessman in Davao City last June 12.

"Wala namang pumunta doon sa police. No specific information coming from anybody. It was a result of a police probe. You cannot reward a police for what he is paid to do and you do not reward me for which (sic) I am supposed to do," Duterte said in an interview with reporters after the command conference with the local authorities held at the Grand Men Seng Hotel on Thursday evening.

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However, he said it is the discretion of the family whether to reward somebody that led to the arrest of the suspects.

"I cannot stop private individuals from doing something. Hindi naman illegal. Bahala na ang pamilya," he said.

"Pero it was part of police investigation, nag-release ng cartographic, bakit ka magbigay ng reward?" he added.

The bounty was raised to P1.3 million from P500,000 when King's family opted to increase its P200,000 reward to P1 million, while Duterte maintained to shoulder the P300,000.

Facing murder charges are Rommel dela Cerna, his brother Rodel, and alleged gunman Paul Dave Molina Labang. The complaint was filed by the brother of the victim, James King.

Labang is also facing additional charges after authorities seized a .45 caliber ACP Series 80 Colt Mark IV pistol with serial number FN33020 with six live ammos and a magazine with seven live ammos.

A murder complaint was also filed before the Davao Prosecutor's Office against Senior Superintendent Leonardo Felonia, former chief of the Regional Intelligence Unit-Davao, who has been tagged in the crime by three other suspects in their confessions.

Felonia, on the other hand, maintained his innocence.

A news report quoted him saying, "I want to make it clear na hindi ako restricted in camp, hindi ako nakaprotected custody whatsoever. Free ako to roam around anywhere and everywhere to go."

In another development regarding Felonia, the police officer is also being investigated for an apparent involvement in the ambush-slay of Laak, Compostela Valley Mayor Reynaldo Navarro last month after a “mission order” allegedly signed by Felonia was said to have been found in the body of one of the ambushers killed in the exchange of fire.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 28, 2014.

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