A witness barangay captain has named the “brain” and cohorts behind the “dangerous and malicious” receipt of the reward for the capture of one of the Abu Sayyaf bandits in Clarin.
Containing the identity of the civilian informant and bounty amount he received, the handwritten acknowledgement receipt has put at risk the life of the tipster and his family.
Also, the document has been widely circulated, even on the internet, obviously to make some target government personalities appear having pocketed a huge sum from the cash reward.
At the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) probe, barangay captain Victor Sanchez of Bacani, Clarin named radio bloctimer “Allan Mangmang of DYTR” as having coaxed him to “execute an affidavit.”
The SP inquiry was conducted on Monday by the Committee on Peace and Order and Public Safety led by its chairman, Board Member Ricky Masamayor.
The barrio head repeatedly named Mangmang in response to the separate, follow-up questions from Board Members Abeleon Damalerio and Venzencio Arcamo, also the acting vice governor and SP presiding officer now.
Sanchez said Mangmang “called” and persuaded him that he should “better include the informant” himself among the signatories.
The informer’s identity, other personal information and statement of how much reward share he got did turn out to be the very content of the “affidavit-receipt.”
The barangay chairman signed the document as one of the two witnesses that it was supposedly voluntarily executed and signed by the informant in their presence.
But Sanchez also did confess that the affidavit-receipt was prepared and handwritten by his wife, Gloria.
The barrio official said they were told the document would be “sent to Pres. Rodrigo Duterte for him to know” only P450,000 was received by the informant.
He said Mangmang “assured” that “only them and the president” would ever know of the document they made.
They were made to understand that the reward from the president was not just P1 million but P4 million and, therefore, the bigger part of the reward must have been pocketed, according to the captain.
This raised the eyebrows of some SP members and others present during the investigation, reacting that the receipt must have, thus, been intended “to make the president mad.”
At the SP session the other Friday, Masamayor himself called for the probe to expose the “falsehoods” that tend to “poison public mind.”
In their paid broadcast, Mangmang and Victor de la Serna, a lawyer, bragged about their possession of a copy of the document which they would relay to the president.
The document has been capitalized in spreading lies and intrigues that the P1 million was downloaded to the province and cut by some military, police and government men who shared among them the big portion of the reward.
From Malacañang, the same amount was brought here by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Central Command (Centcom) chief Lt. Gen. Oscar Lactao.
At the Governor’s Mansion, Lactao also handed over to the civilian informants, including the one mentioned by the barangay captain, the reward which was shared among informers.
The handover was witnessed by Gov. Edgar Chatto, Philippine National Police (PNP) Prov’l. Dir. Felipe Natividad, Clarin Mayor Allen Ray Piezas, Provincial Administrator Alfonso Damalerio II, Masamayor, and other AFP officials.
Apparently feeling deceived and betrayed, the barrio head said it could not have happened if it were not for “their assurance” that no one would know “except them and the president.”
“Actually, gihimo ni namo kay suggestion gyod nila (Actually, we did it because of their suggestion),” Sanchez said, his testimony this time indicating there must be behind the receipt making other than Mangmang.
But, still, the captain did not name names other than Mangmang’s, presumably since it was the radioman who directly contacted him.
Also, it was observed that he “evaded” the question of Masamayor about a “politician, or his sibling or cousin, who might have also called him.”
Sanchez said he was “surprised” upon learning that the copy of what was assured to be a confidential document was instead suddenly circulated, even posted on the internet which became the basis for media reports.
He said what was promised was that it would “only be sent to the president for him to know how much was only received” by the informant.
The AFP-PNP has repeatedly confirmed that only P1 million was released by and from the Office of the President and the full amount was shared among the informants, who have not complained.
On the assurance that the receipt they made would not leak to the public, the captain said, “Ang nahitabo ani mao nga ang sekreto wa ma-secret. (What happened here was that the secret was not kept secret.) ”
As soon as the receipt was made, Mangmang’s group led by Dela Serna aired the existence of the paper otherwise containing the confidential personal information about the informant.
TRIGGERED BY ‘ARMY’S’ CALL?
The barangay official claimed that what “triggered these all” was a “call” to him from an “army” who asked him if he had already also received his reward.
“Dihay nitawag nako, army kuno siya, nangutanan siya nako kon nakadawat na ba kuno ko,” Sanchez said, although he could not specifically identify his caller.
The “intriguing” call had, thus, supposedly led to the idea that the captain should better make an affidavit that he had not received any amount.
During the committee hearing, it was not ascertained if the army call might be a “warm-up” to a “dirty game.”
Later on, a “radioman” (Mangmang) called the captain to “make an affidavit” and include the testimony of the civilian informant—a driver—who was one of the tipsters given the reward.
Damalerio told straightly the barangay official, “It is now obvious that it was not the informant approaching and asking you for help but you asking him to help you make an affidavit” as “suggested”
The affidavit, although prepared and handwritten by the captain’s wife, turned out to contain only the informant’s statement in the form of an acknowledgment receipt revealing his personal information and reward share received.
Masamayor mentioned a separate affidavit already previously executed by the informant himself to confirm the amount he received and the mayor of Clarin also knew it.
Also present during the SP inquiry, Piezas chose not to detail it, although he assured the document is ready to be shown if necessary.
The mayor asserted it was already established that the qualified informants did receive their shares of the reward and they did confirm it, without one complaining.
The driver informant did not complain either, said the mayor who then courteously told the barangay captain that, ideally, the latter should have first seen or informed him for “advice or guidance on what to do.”
Attending the inquiry along with the PNP provincial director, 302nd Infantry Brigade (IB) commander Brig. Gen. Arnulfo Matanguihan said the complainant neither complained to them.
The AFP official said “our prime consideration is the safety of the informants” and “the media can ask the president” how much reward amount he did give.
The acknowledgment receipt likewise states that the informant received the amount in the presence of the “governor, Clarin mayor and military officials.”
The actual handover of the money reward to the informants was done at the Governor’s Mansion on April 29, Saturday, while the acknowledgment receipt to which the captain witnessed was dated May 5.
Aside from the captain, a certain Bernadette Junich also signed the receipt as a witness.
Both Sanchez and Junich were never present during the actual AFP handover of the reward which was physically witnessed by military, police, and provincial and municipal officials.
The captain said they made and signed the receipt right at his house in Bacani, Clarin, but Junich was actually not there.
Sanchez said he had to bring the document to the residence of Junich in barangay Buacao, about four kilometers from Bacani, for her signature.
Even the informant does not live in Bacani but in Poblacion Centro, prompting Damalerio to wonder why the informant did not ask the officials of his barangay for help if it was his own, voluntary decision to execute the document.
WHO ARE THE WITNESSES?
The captain explained that Junich, a resident of another barrio and not a public official like him, came to his mind to be one of the witnesses because they both belong to the “Bohol Advocates for Change (BAC).”
Sanchez said he is the vice president and she is the president of the Clarin chapter of the “movement,” which provincial organizer and head he identified as the “regional director of agriculture, Salvador Diputado.”
It was Diputado who spread last year the rumor about an alleged Bohol official owning an $81 million account in a local bank, but the banking sector asserted there was none.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the provincial board separately investigated the allegation and both found it to be pure “tsismis” as Diputado himself testified he had no personal knowledge of his own rumor.
Diputado is a son-in-law of Vice Gov. Dionisio Balite who, together with some other capitol officials, has been suspended by the Ombudsman for nine months over administrative charges involving a heavy equipment transaction in the past administration.
Sanchez and Junich reportedly worked for the candidacies of the vice governor and his defeated gubernatorial runningmate, former Loay Mayor May Imboy, in the 2016 election.
Diputado is also a brother-in-law of Board Member Victor Dionisio Balite, who was present, too, during the SP inquiry on the reward receipt as a member of the probing committee.
During the inquiry, Balite raised the issue of the Bohol entry of PNP Supt. Maria Cristina Nobleza and his Abu Sayyaf lover, who were both apprehended at a checkpoint at the height of the manhunt on the bandits in Clarin.
Apparently sensing that the inquiry might go nowhere because it was not the main agenda anyway, Masamayor “interrupted” Balite because they had to tackle and focus on the award receipt and deceit issues.
Also, Balite was corrected because the reward was not given in check but cash, to which he then reacted that the whole amount should have been counted in front of the media.
Matanguihan said the media can check with the president how much did he give, adding that their prime consideration is the security and safety of the informers.
TOO LATE TO REGRET
For the captain, it would be too late to regret as what had already happened could no longer be undone.
Sanchez said the origin of the copy, photocopy or screenshot of the receipt sent to Mangmang “must have come either from me or Bernadette (Junich) because we are the witnesses.”
But the barrio official quickly added that he did not take picture of the document.
Sanchez believed he had “done nothing bad,” only that he overly trusted in the assurance of secrecy.
He confessed his “own fear and anxiety” now, saying he could even be “blamed for whatever might happen to the informant.” (Ven rebo Arigo)