The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session approved on first reading a proposed ordinance seeking to amend Section 2 of Ordinance No. 029, series of 1996, as amended by Ordinance No. No. 15, series of 2014, increasing the reward for tipsters.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Jose M. Molintas states that by experience, informants are not willing to publicly identify themselves and testify in court after giving information leading to the arrest of any person involved in the commission of heinous crimes for fear of reprisals, retaliations from the accused of his or her relatives or subordinates, among others.
Under the proposed ordinance, any informer, persons or group of persons, shall be given an amount of P5,000 upon certification by the City Director of the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) that the said informer has given information that led to the apprehension and prosecution of the accused.
The ordinance admits that the problem of drug addiction has reached epidemic proportions and unless the city takes positive measures to ensure the participation of the constituency, efforts towards the solutions of the pressing problem will prove futile.
However, considering the danger involved in the apprehension of drug pushers, including authors of heinous crimes committed in the city or the ten most wanted criminals in the city, the ordinance claims that a nominal award to be given as incentive to encourage the constituents to involve themselves in the said endeavour is in order.
According to the ordinance, the amount of P150,000 to serve as fund for reward to be given to informers who are instrumental in the arrest, prosecution, and conviction of any drug pusher, any of the authors of heinous crimes committed in the city, or any of the 10 most wanted criminals in the city is a small amount compared to the value of the lives that are lost or ruined due to drug addiction or the commission of heinous crimes.
Earlier, Section 2 of Ordinance No. 029, series of 1996, stated that any informer, person or group of persons, shall be given an initial amount of P1,000 upon certification by the City Director of BCPO that said informer, persons or group of persons, has given information which led to the apprehension and prosecution of the accused. The informer shall be given an additional amount of P5,000 upon conviction of the accused through the testimony of the informer.
On the other hand, Ordinance No. 15, series of 2014 stated that any informer shall be given an initial amount of P2,000 upon certification by the BCPO City Director that said informer has which led to the apprehension and prosecution of the accused.
Moreover, the informer upon conviction of the accused the informer shall be given an additional amount of P10,000 upon conviction of the accused through his or her testimony.