Daraga town Mayor Carlwyn Baldo denies orchestrating the assassination of AKO Bicol party-list Representative Rodel Batocabe.
ALBAY, Philippines — Incumbent Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo has denied allegations of masterminding the killing of AKO Bicol party-list Representative Rodel Batocabe.
Mayor Baldo asserted his innocence saying he is just being used as a ‘scapegoat’ while the true perpetrators are at large.
“I assert my innocence. Let us not forget that while I am being used as a convenient scapegoat, those who are truly responsible for the crime remain free and blameless,” Baldo said in a press conference on Thursday (January 3).
“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,” he added.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) tagged Baldo as the one who orchestrated the assassination of Congressman Batocabe, from planning to financing the crime by contracting former members of the military and even his alleged personal driver, offering them P5 million to execute the killing.
Two of the suspects were turned into witnesses and confessed that it was Mayor Baldo who planned everything since Rep. Batocabe announced his plan to rival the mayor in the 2019 elections.
Mayor Baldo in his statement offered his condolences to Cong. Batocabe’s family and the family of his aide, SPO1 Orlando Diaz.
“Patuloy akong nakikiramay sa pamilya Batocabe & Diaz sa kanilang kawalan. Kahit ako gusto ko rin malaman kung sino ang totoong may kagagawan sa krimen,” he said.
“But in our quest for justice, let us avoid committing injustice,” the embattled Mayor added.
Baldo along with six other suspects were facing charges of double murder and six counts of frustrated murder for the incident. — Marje Pelayo