Police tag Daraga Mayor Baldo as "brain" behind Batocabe killing; ex-military men involved | BICOL TODAY

Police tag Daraga Mayor Baldo as “brain” behind Batocabe killing; ex-military men involved

By Joey Natividad

DARAGA, Albay — Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo is tagged by police as the “mastermind” on the killing of Ako Bicol Partylist Representative Rodel Batocabe and his police escort. SPO1 Orlando Diaz.

This was officially announced yesterday, Thursday, by PNP Chief PDirector General Oscar David Albayalde.

Albayalde admitted the hitmen were once members of the state military, and they were working under the payroll of Mayor Baldo, and moonlighting as “gun-for-hire” syndicate.

Much earlier, 4 days after the killing, the underground rebel group here, in a statement, had pointed to involvement of military personnel in the killings, such information might have offered “leads” in ongoing police investigation.

In a related development, Mayor Baldo denied his involvement as the “brain” behind the killing, asserted his innocence and avoided farther comments pending the filing of formal charges against him.

Batocabe was in a gift-giving incident before Christmas for senior citizens and disabled persons in Burgos village when he was shot dead by gunmen. His police escort Diaz was also killed while 7 senior citizens, old folks, were wounded during the carnage. The Batocabe family offered Php 50 million reward money for the early solution of the crime.

Read related news story: http://bicoltoday.com/2018/12/24/daraga-albay-christmas-gift-giving-event-for-elderlies-2-killed-7-old-folks-injured-by-bullets/

Finishing his 3-term limit as Representative, Batocabe filed his candidacy for Mayor in Daraga last October, 2018, to oppose incumbent Mayor Baldo and another aspiring opponent. It was supposed to be a 3-cornered fight.

A few days after the killing, the National Democratic Front (NDF-Bicol) underground rebel organization in the Bicol Region, posted a communique in the internet denying the involvement of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the Batocabe killing, and instead, tossed the blame on military personnel. NDF-Bicol issued the denial to clarify rumors that the NPA allegedly assassinated Batocabe.

Read related story: http://bicoltoday.com/2018/12/26/ndf-bicol-npa-did-not-kill-rep-rodel-batocabe-state-military-blamed/

Director-General Albayalde: “I am pleased to announce a major breakthrough in the investigation of the murder of Ako Bicol Partylist Representative Rodel Batocabe and his security escort, SPO2 Orlando Diaz in Barangay Burgos, Daraga, Albay on December 22, 2018. The names of seven (7) persons of interest, all employed as confidential staff of the Office of the Municipal Mayor of Daraga, Albay have surfaced in the investigation jointly conducted by the PNP Intelligence Group and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.”

Albayalde, in his report, said: “Among the seven, Christopher Cabrera NAVAL alias Tuping, identified as a trusted security aide of Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo was forced to surrender to the PNP-IG last December 30, 2018 due to the relentless police operations jointly conducted by combined elements of PRO 5 SITG BATOCABE, CIDG, and PNP-IG. Tuping provided investigators with relevant information surrounding the assassination of Batocabe.”

The police general said the plan to assassinate Batocabe was hatched sometime in August 2018 when Batocabe announced in public his bid for the mayoral post of Daraga. This was corroborated by Emmanuel Bonita Judavar who was involved in the initial planning but allegedly backed out during the actual assassination. Judavar earlier came forward and gave his knowledge to the police about the killing of Cong. Batocabe.

Later according to Tuping, Mayor Baldo allegedly offered P5-million for the hit job on Batocabe sometime in September 2018 and paid an initial amount of P250,000.00 to Tuping and his group for the purchase of guns and motorcycles.

Tuping’s team is composed mostly of former military, paramilitary personnel and NPA rebels who are presently employed under fictitious names as confidential staff of the Office of the Mayor and each receiving a monthly compensation of P7,000.00.

Tuping himself was a discharged Army serviceman who once served with the Military Intelligence Battalion of the 9th Infantry Division stationed in Bicol region.

Based on Tuping’s revelation, he purchased two SYM motorcycles in Camalig, Albay using the assumed name Abelardo Castillo, while another member of the team, Danilo Muella alias Manoy Dan, acquired two home-made cal.45 pistols. Muella is reportedly a former Technical Sergeant in the 97th Military Intelligence Company of the 9th Infantry Division.

According to Tuping and Judavar, the first attempt on Batocabe was during the congressman’s routine engagements at radio station DZJB and Hotel Venezia in Legazpi City, a pattern that was observed by the group in its casing and surveillance on Batocabe.

Albayalde continued: “Based on extra-judicial confession of Tuping, revelations made by Judavar, and intelligence research conducted by the IG and CIDG, the other members of Tuping’s team and their individual participation in the murder are as follows:

1) Henry Yuson @ Romel/Eno, a former NPA rebel who was arrested by MICO, MIB of 9th IB and who later became a CAFGU member. He was tagged as the main gunman who shot Batocabe allegedly with a cal.40 pistol.

2) Rolando Arimado @RR, a rebel returnee who served as lookout and back-up gunman. It was reported that he likewise pulled the trigger to kill Cong. Batocabe and SPO1 Diaz on that fateful day.

3) Emmanuel Rosello @ Boboy, a former CAFGU member who drove the other getaway motorcycle. He was arrested earlier this morning by police operatives in Daraga, Albay. The getaway motorcycle was likewise seized from his possession.

4) Jaywin Babor @ Jie, also an ex-Army man who was designated as driver of the getaway motorcycle.

From all indications as revealed by the suspects and witnesses, and physical evidence gathered by the police, the group that killed Batocabe and Diaz is a private armed group employed by the mayor that is involved in contract killing as a gun-for-hire syndicate.”

Albayalde said Cases of Double Murder and Multiple Frustrated Homicide were filed in Albay against the mastermind Mayor Baldo and six others.

He declared: “Immediately effective today, I have ordered the revocation of firearms licenses and PTCFOR of Mayor Baldo and has recommended the removal of his deputation over the local police of Daraga, Albay.

This is a victory of the rule of law in this country. This is also a stern warning against those unscrupulous politicians who will resort to violence to gain elected position. The long arms of the law will eventually catch on you.”

Meanwhile, Mayor Baldo asserted his innocence upon hearing about his alleged involvement as the “mastermind” in the Batocabe killing.

“I assert my innocence. Let us not forget that while I’m being used as convenient scapegoat, those who are truly responsible for the crime remain free and blameless,” Baldo said before the media.

“I am an easy target but that does not make me guilty of the crime. I am already being persecuted in the courts of public opinion. I am a public servant at ang gusto ko lang naman po ay magsilbi,” the Mayor said.

“To the victims who were caught in the line of fire and to the people of Daraga, in our quest for justice, let us avoid committing injustice. [BicolToday.com]

Posted by on January 3, 2019. Filed under Bicol News,Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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