Aquino offers P2-M bounty for Nicole's killer-A A +A
Sunday, January 13, 2013
MANILA - President Benigno Aquino III has offered a P2-million reward for any information “leading to the arrest and conviction” of the killer of seven-year-old Stephanie Nicole Ella.
Ella was killed by a stray bullet during last New Year’s Eve revelry.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte confirmed that the President has set the bounty, adding that he is determined to bring justice to the young girl.
“I can confirm that. The President mentioned it last Thursday in his dialogue with the annual conference of the RMN station managers…It was P2 million ‘for the information leading to the arrest and conviction’ as stated by the President,” Valte said in an interview over government-run Radyo ng Bayan on Sunday.
The Palace official said President Aquino is, so far, happy with the progress of the case and he is confident that the case will be resolved soon.
“The President had begged off from mentioning the details so as not to tip off the subject. But the progress of the case has been good,” she said.
Ella was laid to rest on Saturday in Norzagaray, Bulacan.
She died last January 2 after suffering from cardiac arrest as she slipped into a coma when she was hit by a stray bullet outside their home in Caloocan while watching fireworks last New Year’s Eve. Her death triggered debate on stricter gun control.
President Aquino earlier junked proposals of a total gun ban noting that it will not solve criminality in the country and would only make law abiding citizens defenseless.
He said what is needed is tighter control in firearms and add more teeth to the existing gun regulation laws.
Caloocan Mayor Recom Echiverri and Valenzuela Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian earlier offered P400,000 for the arrest of the suspect.
Meanwhile, the Caloocan City Prosecutor's Office has set the hearing of the case against the four suspects linked to the killing of Ella this week.
Caloocan Senior Prosecutor Nida Gravino also summoned on January 18, some personalities who could give additional information and evidence to the case.
Earlier charged were Army reservist Juan Agus, Feliciano Cercano, Eddie Magtubo and Arcadio Gulmatico Jr., who was positively identified by their neighbors as having fired his gun on New Year's eve.
The four were charged with reckless imprudence resulting in homicide for the death of Ella.
Gravino also summoned officers of the PNP Crime Laboratory who conducted the ballistics exams and the paraffin tests of the four suspects, Ella's parents and copy of the victim's birth certificate.(Jill Beltran/Sunnex)