Daraga Mayor Baldo, suspected Batocabe slay brains, arrested for guns, grenade

Continuing efforts by the Philippine National Police to dig deeper into the murder of Ako Bicol Partylist Representative Rodel Batocabe and his police escort SPO2 Orlando Diaz bore more fruit today when authorities recovered the suspected getaway vehicle and two more firearms from the possession of prime suspect Mayor Carlwyn Baldo.

In a report to PNP Chief, Director General Oscar D Albayalde, CSupt Amador Corpus, CIDG Acting Director, said a composite police team served a Search Warrant at the Baldo Compound located at Lakandula Drive, Barangay Tagas, Daraga, Albay at 2:30 PM today on orders of Honorable EJ Elmer M Lanuzo, Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court for the Bicol region for alleged violation of RA 10591 (Illegal Possession of Firearms), and for the recovery of a vehicle believed involved in the crime.

The search was done in the presence of Mayor Baldo and his family and was witnessed by Barangay Chairman Warren M Bahillo and Barangay Kagawad Zenaida T Lovino, both of Barangay Tagas, Daraga Albay.

According to Corpus, the raiding team recovered a white Isuzu Alterra SUV with plate number BCW-941 from the compound, which investigators believed was the getaway vehicle used by the hitmen who shot and killed Batocabe and Diaz on December 22, 2018 in Barangay Burgos, Daraga, Albay.

Also recovered were two caliber.45 pistols, a magazine assembly for Uzi machine pistol, a 40mm grenade cartridge for M203 grenade launcher, and several rounds of live ammunition.

Baldo was placed under arrest and booked for violation of RA 10591 and RA 9516 (Illegal Possession of Explosives).

Corpus said the recovered evidence will be subjected to extensive forensic examination for possible matching with evidence recovered at the crime scene.

PNP Spokesman, Senior Superintendent Bernard M Banac said the Chief PNP has extended his commendation to the raiding team composed of operatives from the CIDG Albay, Daraga Police Station, Albay Provincial Mobile Force Company, 5th Regional Mobile Force Battalion and Regional Intelligence Unit.

“This is part of our continuing efforts to establish a strong case backed by solid evidence, leading to the successful prosecution of the suspects in the Batocabe-Diaz slay,” the Chief PNP said. (PNP-PIO)