MANILA – Incumbent Daraga, Albay mayor Carlwyn Baldo was pointed as the mastermind in the murder of AKO Bicol representative Rodel Batocabe and his police escort last month.
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said Baldo was tagged as the brains behind the murder with the plan to kill Batocabe hatched as early as August last year.
Baldo allegedly contracted a seven-man private armed group composed mostly of former New People’s Army members to assassinate Batocabe for P5 million with a certain Henry Yuson as the main gunner.
Baldo along with Yuson, Rolando Arimando, Emmanuel Rosello, Jaywin Babor, Emmanuel Judavar, Danilo Muella, and Christopher Naval were already slapped with double murder and multiple frustrated murder charges.
“We are very much convinced with Mayor Baldo as the suspect,” Albayalde said in a press conference at Camp Crame. “As early as August, there were plans already regarding the slay.”
Baldo was earlier being pointed as the one behind the ambush but the incumbent mayor vehemently denied knowledge of it.
Following the press conference yesterday by Albayalde, Baldo did not show up in his office in Daraga, Albay.
The 52-year-old Batocabe was having a Christmas gift-giving activity in his hometown in Daraga, Albay when he and police escort Senior Police Officer 1 Rolando Diaz were gunned down by at least six suspects on Dec. 22.
Batocabe died due to eight gunshot wounds from .40 and .45 caliber firearms, and the assailants walked away from the crime scene by mixing in with the crowd
Batocabe, who was elected for AKO Bicol party-list in 2010, was a candidate for the mayoral seat in Daraga, Albay in the 2019 midterm elections against Baldo./PN