Solons welcome identification of mastermind in Batocabe slay
NAGA CITY, Camarines Sur, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte should order the preventive suspension of Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo, who was tagged as the mastermind behind the murder of Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe, 1-Ang Edukasyon Rep. Bong Belaro said Thursday.
Colleagues of Batocabe also welcomed this development bared by the Philippine National Police (PNP) earlier in the day.
“I appeal to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to order the responsible government officials to invoke Section 60 to 68 of Chapter IV of the Local Government Code (RA 7160) to preventively suspend the incumbent Daraga mayor and any other civil servants implicated in the murder of AKO BICOL Congressman Rodel Batocabe,” Belaro said in a statement.
“Daraga City is a town of Albay province and as such the Governor of Albay is vested with the power to preventively suspend an elective official of a component city or municipality within the province,” he added.
The PNP earlier identified Baldo as the mastermind behind Batocabe’s murder.
Batocabe was supposed to run against Baldo in the mayoral race in Daraga in the 2019 midterm elections. But the former and his police escort SPO1 Orlando Diaz were shot dead after emerging from a gift-giving event for senior citizens at Barangay Burgos in Daraga, Albay last Dec. 22.
Senior Citizen Rep. Francisco Datol Jr., meanwhile, called on the Department of Justice to place Baldo in the immigration hold departure list.
Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr., for his part, lauded the development, while he continues to call for justice for Batocabe.
“Well for one I’m happy solved na ‘yung kaso. Secondly nakakatakot naman na kapwa pulitiko na, umabot na sa ganyan ang sitawayson sana, well if he would be brought to justice, sana it will be a swift decision (na) siya talaga ang perpetrator (I hope,” he said in an interview here.
(Well, for one I’m happy that the case has been solved. Secondly, it is scary that a fellow politician will resort to that situation. I hope if he would be brought to justice it will be a swift decision that she is really the perpetrator.)
Ako Bicol Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. said this affirmed their suspicion since day one.
“Ako Bicol Partylist will not rest until justice has been served to the Batocabes by securing a conviction of Mayor Baldo and his cohorts to the killing which will be adjudged by the competent Court of Justice,” Garbin said.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government and the PNP should “file an urgent petition with the Comelec to place Daraga under its control until the duly-elected mayor in the May elections formally assumes office,” Kabayan Rep. Ron Salo said.
“While the incumbent mayor, in the eyes of the law, is innocent until proven otherwise, Comelec must be persuaded to exercise abundance of caution and consider the integrity of the local Daraga elections,” Salo added. /ee
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