THE VOLUNTEERS Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) has doubled the reward money to P10 million for the capture of guns-for-hire leader Ricardo Peralta, whose group is reportedly used by some politicians in Nueva Ecija as private armies.
Itinataas namin ‘yung (We are increasing the) reward money for the capture or any information that would lead to the capture of Ricardo Peralta,” said VACC Vice Chairperson Arsenio G. Evangelista in a press conference at the Anti-Kidnapping Group Office in Camp Crame, Quezon City, on Wednesday, Nov. 14.
The suspected criminal group leader has several pending arrest warrants and has “for the longest time” been in the Top 5 wanted list of the police, Mr. Evangelista said.
“Yung (The) reward money, we believe is very effective, especially if the reward money is substantial. It is an instrumental and strong weapon to capture wanted persons,” said Mr. Evangelista.
The fund has been raised with help from family members of the group’s victims.
The VACC vice-chairperson also called on the police, in coordination with the military, to create a task force dedicated solely to the capture of gun-for-hire syndicates.
Mayor Emerson D. Pascual of Gapan City in Nueva Ecija, meanwhile, said these members of criminal syndicates do not have the right to walk freely on the streets.
“Hindi na para sa aming mga biktima ito, ito ay para sa mga future victims na nila (This is not for us victims, but this is for the future victims),” said Mr. Pascual during the press conference.
Mr. Pascual’s family was ambushed by the Peralta group back in 2006, which resulted to the death of his two siblings.
The Gapan mayor also noted that the syndicate operates not just in the Central Luzon Region, but also in other parts of the country.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) has yet to make public the identity of the Nueva Ecija politicians in Nueva Ecija who are being serviced by the Peralta group.
“Meron na kaming nasagap sa radar… Ayaw pa naming magsalita (We have already caught some in our radar… We cannot speak about it yet),” said PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group Director Senior Supt. Glenn Dumlao.
Mr Dumlao said they have been directed by the PNP chief to ensure that the cases against those who will be arrested will be “airtight.” — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras