FORMER Cebu second district congressman Pablo “Pabling” Garcia said yesterday that the P50,000 reward that Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña plans to give to a police who can kill a criminal in the city is libelous and illegal.

With the plan, Garcia said that Osmeña and the City Government is already condemning the victim.

In the eyes of the public, however, he said that the criminal is the police who killed the suspect.

“They said that the P50,000 will be given to a police officer who is facing a murder case. If there is a case, there is a probable cause that the police is the one who is a criminal. So, rewarding him is illegal and libelous,” Garcia said.

The former deputy House speaker and Cebu governor believes that the giving of reward is “unfair” to the deceased, considering that he or she is already dead and can no longer defend themselves.

Garcia, a Constitutional lawyer who helped in framing the 1987 Constitution, said that if the reward will push through, the City can be accused of being an accessory to the crime.

The move, he said, will also encourage more killings.

Osmeña earlier said that he is giving the P50,000 not as reward but financial assistance to law enforcers who might face a string of cases.

He said some police officers are afraid to shoot criminals since they can’t defend themselves if cases will be filed against them.

The mayor said that the fund for the financial assistance will be taken from the City Government’s discretionary fund.

The City’s discretionary fund for this year amounts to P7.4 million and P7.8 million for next year. (EOB)