Thursday, August 14, 2014

Lone informant to get P2M reward for Palparan capture

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Aug 14): Lone informant to get P2M reward for Palparan capture

A “singleton”—the military’s term for a single, newly recruited informant—will receive the P2-million reward for providing information that led to the capture of fugitive Jovito Palparan in Manila on Wednesday.

In an interview with the Inquirer on Wednesday, Maj. Gen. Eduardo Año, chief of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (Isafp), corrected reports that the reward was P5 million and that it would go to the Naval Intelligence and to Security Group (NISF), the military unit that collaborated with the National Bureau of Investigation for the capture of the retired Philippine Army major general.

Año said the informant had yet to receive the reward, as a process had to be followed for the turnover of the bounty from the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Agents to be promoted

“No, the reward will not go to NISF agents involved in the mission because the intelligence unit is not authorized to receive rewards. There will be no monetary incentive because that’s our job,” Año said.

But the NISF agents involved in the mission will be promoted one rank higher and will get medals for their good job, he said.

Palparan’s ATM tracks

Año said the informant was recruited specifically for the Palparan mission because of his close association with the retired general.

“In intelligence gathering for high-value targets, we recruit people who have access to the targets,” Año said.

“So for this particular case of Palparan, the NISF recruited this informant for this mission only because the informant has access to Palparan,” he said.

Año said the informant alerted the NISF to a series of withdrawals by Palparan from different automated teller machines from a bank account that did not belong to him. The last withdrawal was at 3:30 a.m. Monday in Sta. Mesa district.

The Isafp chief refused to identify the owner of the account, saying the DOJ would deal with the account holder.

He said that the NISF tracked Palparan through the locations of his ATM withdrawals until the transactions led the agents to a house near an ATM on Old Sta. Mesa Street.

“It was the first time for this new informer for this kind of mission and he hit it,” Año said.

Task Force Runway

Año is the commander of Task Force Runway, a composite team of agents from the military and the NBI formed last year by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin on orders from President Aquino to capture Palparan, who went into hiding after being ordered arrested by a court in Malolos town, Bulacan province, in December 2011 over the 2006 abduction and disappearance of University of the Philippines students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan.

Aquino ‘special mission’

Año said no other military task force was formed to track down other high-profile fugitives such as former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes and his brother, former Coron Mayor Mario Reyes, both wanted for the
Jan. 24, 2011, murder of environmentalist and broadcaster Gerardo Ortega, and former Dinagat Rep. Ruben Ecleo, who is wanted for the 2002 murder of his wife, Alona, and running from a 31-year jail term for graft handed down by the Sandiganbayan in 2006.

Año said the Isafp considered the arrest of these fugitives “secondary missions” for military intelligence units, such as the NISF, Army Intelligence and Security Group and Air Force Intelligence Group, because they were not threats to national security.

The Isafp provides support to the Philippine National Police in the search for these fugitives, Año said.

He acknowledged that Palparan was not considered a national security threat, but said the Isafp gave priority to Palparan’s case because it was a “special mission” from the President.

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