PNP still confident evidence vs Baldo ‘strong’ despite posting bail
MANILA, Philippines – The evidence against former Mayor Carlwyn Baldo of Daraga, Albay is strong despite his bail being granted, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Wednesday.
According to PNP Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, they have prepared an “airtight” case, although they respect the court’s decision to give Baldo provisional liberty.
Baldo is accused of masterminding the killings of former Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe and his police aide. Batocabe was supposed to be Baldo’s opponent for Daraga’s mayoral post.
“Ang pananaw ng PNP ay matibay ang ating kaso na ating isinampa laban kay dating Mayor Baldo, of course kung ano man ang naging desisyon or deliberation ng court ay hindi na natin saklaw,” Banac told reporters in Camp Crame.
“But as far as the PNP is concerned we have prepared an airtight case against Mayor Baldo, and we believe the evidence we have submitted are all strong to merit conviction later,” he added.
Batocabe and police Master Sgt. Orlando Diaz were shot last December 2018 while waiting for their car to arrive after a gift-giving activity at Barangay Burgos in Daraga. PNP Chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde himself said that Baldo appears to be the mastermind of the attack.
Baldo has belied the accusations, insisting that he, Batocabe’s political opponent, is just a “convenient scapegoat”.
But on Saturday, the Regional Trial Court Branch 10 in Legazpi City allowed Baldo, who was facing murder charges, to post bail worth P3 million per count. And if he could not pay the amount in cash, he had to submit a surety of properties in his or his relatives’ possession worth P4 million per count.
Baldo reportedly posted bail earlier, amounting to P8.7 million worth of properties.
Banac assured that they are still monitoring the situation in the whole province of Albay, especially with Baldo’s impending release.
“Ang buong situation sa Albay ay naka-monitor tayo, hindi lamang kay Mayor Baldo, maging sa pamilya din ng mga Batocabe. Mahalaga rito ay walang maging anumang karahasan, lalong-lalo na sa kabilang panig,” Banac noted.
“Kailangan walang mangyaring insidente na may magiging kaugnayan sa temporary release ni Mayor Baldo through a bail,” he added. /je
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.