Six initial suspects eyed in Batocabe slay
MANILA, Philippines — Authorities said on Sunday that they are looking at six gunmen involved in the killing of Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe who were on standby outside the covered court where the lawmaker attended a charity event.
“Ngayon, nagsi-simulation tayo, nagba-backtracking tayo no’ng mga possibilities kung sino po ang pwedeng makuha or sino mamukhaan na pwedeng gumawa,” Police Regional Office 5 (PRO-5) Spokesperson C/Insp. Malou Calobaquib told INQUIRER.net.
“May mga several few na nakaka-identify, but it turns na parang six suspects ang nagpapatay sa kanya. Doon pa lang sa covered court na naghihintay na,” she added.
Calobaquib also clarified that Batocabe, who was killed on Saturday afternoon, sustained four bullet wounds and not eight as earlier reported. It only appeared as if there were eight gunshots because each bullet had an entry and exit point.
“Based on the autopsy ng Crime Laboratory, apat lang po ‘yong tama ng bala ni Congressman Batocabe, and through and through galing sa likod. Walo (bullet wounds) dahil through and through, tagusan. Lahat po galing sa likod,” she explained.
Initial investigation said that Batocabe was in Barangay Burgos for a gift-giving event intended for senior citizens and persons with disability. After the event, he and his security aide were waiting outside for their service vehicle which would transport them to another venue.
However, Batocabe and the police officer were shot several times. Both were rushed to a private hospital and were later declared dead.
Politics is being considered a possible motive but authorities said that they are looking at other possible angles.
“As of now we are still considering other angles na pwede pong mako-consider sa incident,” Calobaquib noted.
Batocabe, a member of the House majority, is on his third term as Ako Bicol representative. Last October, he also submitted his certificate of candidacy for mayoralty of Daraga.
Various personalities, including Batocabe’s colleagues in Congress, condemned the incident, calling for the swift resolution of the case. Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde ordered the creation of a body to probe the incident. /je
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