Vice mayor assumes Daraga’s top post
LEGAZPI CITY — Vice Mayor Victor Perete on Monday assumed office as acting mayor of Daraga town in Albay province after the arrest last week of Mayor Carlwyn Baldo over gun possession charges.
During Monday’s flag-raising ceremony at Daraga town hall, Perete told municipal employees to perform their tasks well and set aside politics.
“In the name of public service, let’s all work together with sincerity. Government transactions should not be hampered or stopped for the welfare of the people of Daraga,” he said.
Perete is leading the town following orders from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Baldo, on Jan. 22, was arrested on charges of illegal possession of guns, explosive and ammunition, when operatives from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, armed with a search warrant, recovered two .45-caliber pistols, an M203 grenade and bullets from his house.
Baldo was also tagged by police as the brains behind the murder of Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe and his police escort, SPO2 Orlando Diaz, on Dec. 22 last year.
The Comelec this month had placed Daraga under its control due to the killing of Batocabe, who was running for mayor in the May elections.
On Friday, Maria Juana Valeza, Comelec Bicol chief, directed the DILG to implement the rule on succession in Daraga, citing a DILG evaluation report finding Baldo to be “temporarily incapacitated” to function as mayor.
Valeza, in a previous interview, reiterated the commission’s position that Baldo could continue his reelection bid pending the resolution of cases filed against him.
Baldo will face Perete (Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan) and the candidate who will replace Batocabe (National Unity Party) in the mayoral race.
Baldo recently lost the support of his party, Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats, after he was tagged mastermind in the killing of the party-list lawmaker. The mayor had denied involvement in the murder. —Reports from Michael Jaucian and Mar Arguelles
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