PNP Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday confirmed that they already have identified the six persons of interest in the murder of Ako Bicol Party list Congressman Rodel Batocabe and his police aide, SPO1 Orlando Diaz.
“Yes. Iyong iba alias.We cannot divulge it yet. Hindi rin natin pwedeng sabihin kung anong grupo iyan,” PNP Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde told members of the press after a case conference held at Camp Simeon Ola in Legaspi City.
The PNP is still not discounting the possible role of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the crime as well as the idea that the killing was politically motivated.
Though the lawmaker’s kin acknowledge that they are going against a political power, the PNP cannot ascertain if Batocabe’s rival in local politics has something to do with the killing.
“Alam mo naman kapag pulitika, you always point to the opponent, hindi ba? Sabi ko nga, we, the PNP cannot speculate. We cannot speculate because we cannot link this person yet because of lack of substantial evidence,” Albayalde stressed.
The PNP has opened three communication lines for whosoever could provide information on the incident.
Witnesses and informants may use these number to report to the authorities of their knowledge on the crime.
But despite the reward money that already reached P32-million pesos, Albayalde admits that it remains a challenge for the PNP to assemble the puzzle as witness are afraid to come out and testify.
“So far wala pa nga. Sana nga makatulong. What we were able to establish is itong mga assailants nanggaling sa likod. So ibig sabihin itong mga ito nanggaling din doon sa crowd. There’s a big possibility na iyong mga tao doon sa crowd na iyon ay kilala itong mga assailants na ito and yet walang gustong magsalita,” the PNP Chief said.
As of press time, the PNP already collected testimonies from six individuals who happened to be survivors from the incident.
However, their testimonies are still not enough to establish a suspect, according to PCSupt. Arnel Escobal.
“Iyon nga ang problema natin hesitant magbigay iyong iba. Iyong 6 kasi nasugatan iyong mga iyon, Iyon ang una naming kinuhanan ng statement baka may makuha kaming information doon sa nangyari. Kaya lang so far wala kaming nakuhang impormasyon na maaaring makatulong sa imbestigasyon,” the Police Regional Office Chief concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Mai Bermudez)