Local officials of Bayawan City have agreed to put up a reward of P100,000 for information leading to the identity and subsequent capture of the suspects who shot Bayawan Councilor Victoriano Alabastro in the evening of June 24 at the Negros Oriental State University Bayawan-Sta. Catalina campus.
Mayor Rene Gaudiel confirmed that the money shall be taken from the city’s intelligence fund, which members of the city council and the city peace and order council had all approved during a meeting in Dumaguete Monday, following a visit to their wounded colleague at a private hospital.
Negros Oriental provincial police director Sr. Supt. Rey Lyndon Lawas created Task Force Enigma, composed of the Philippine National Police, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, the Philippine Army and intelligence operatives and the PNP Crime Laboratory, to conduct a full-scale investigation on the shooting of Alabastro.
Sr. Supt. Lawas briefed Mayor Gaudiel and Bayawan City officials on the creation of Task Force Enigma and the need for their cooperation and support to hasten the investigation on the Alabastro case.
Mayor Gaudiel assured that all information fed to the cops on the shooting of Alabastro and the identity of the tipsters shall be treated with the “strictest confidentiality” although he also stressed that the same information shall be verified first before the reward money can even be released.
Gaudiel described as “alarming” the assault on Alabastro, noting that despite political differences, the brand of politics in Bayawan City is “mature” in that its leaders buckle down to work once the election is over.
The Mayor further expressed concern that the incident would affect the city’s efforts to promote Bayawan as an alternative business and tourism destination.
Friday’s incident was reportedly the third attempt on Alabastro’s life although officially, the police have only recorded two incidents, including the Dec. 31, 2010 incident, when the assailant’s gun failed to fire.
With the approval of Sr. Supt. Lawas, Bayawan Police Chief Errol Garchitorena has been named as the focal person to receive the information on the attack on Alabastro.
Any information can be coursed through the Bayawan Police Station’s official hotline, mobile number 0917-634-9147, which Garchitorena assured shall be turned on at all times. (PNA/Judy Flores-Parlow)