A lawmaker has proposed the grant of not more than P10 million as a reward for any person who shares vital information leading to the prevention or resolution of grave crimes and those that threaten public order.
Rep. Samuel Pagdilao Jr. of ACT-CIS party-list said the P10-million reward could still go higher provided it is authorized by the President and upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Justice.
This provision is embodied under House Bill 3507 or the “Community Informant Incentive Act,” which seeks the creation of the Community Informant Incentive Program for the purpose of paying rewards, incentives and other benefits to informants of certain crimes committed under the Revised Penal Code and other special laws.
Pagdilao, author of the bill, said the program is designed to encourage the public to assist law enforcement agencies by sharing vital information necessary for the prevention and resolution of crimes.
“Although not always reported by the media, the use of information supplied by community members as informants is everywhere in our criminal justice system,” Pagdilao said.
At present, Pagdilao said there are only two laws that provide a reward system for information helpful to the solution of crimes and both are limited in scope.
“First is Republic Act 6981 also known as the Witness Protection and Security Program” which is applicable only to two kinds of prospective witnesses—those that witnessed or has knowledge of the commission of any crime and those that participated in the commission of the crime and desires to be a state witness,” he said.
Pagdilao said the second law, Presidential Decree (PD) 171 or “Providing for Rewards and Incentives to Government Witnesses and Informants and other purposes” provides rewards and incentives to government witnesses and informants.
“However, PD 1731 only covers crimes against National Security or Public Order or organized/syndicated crime. It does not cover other crimes punishable by reclusion perpetua or higher or those classified under special laws as capitals offense or punishable by life imprisonment or higher.” Pagdilao explained.
Under the bill, the Secretary of Justice may pay or give benefits or other incentives to any person who furnishes information leading to the arrest or conviction of any person for the commission of an act of terrorism against the Republic of the Philippines as defined under Section 3 of RA 9372 or the “Human Security Act of 2007.”
Also a reward awaits any person who shares information leading to the arrest or conviction of any person committing any of the unlawful acts enumerated in Section 4, Article 11 of RA 9165 otherwise known as the “Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002,” among others.
The measure provides that the Secretary of Justice may pay a reward or give benefits under this Act in the form of money, education and livelihood assistance, or other incentives including immunity from criminal prosecution. PNA