A LAWMAKER has asked the Philippine National Police (PNP) to explain before the House of Representatives how it distributed the P35-million reward raised for the capture of the killers of Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe.
Ako Bicol Rep. Alfredo Garbin said lawmakers, who contributed P13 million as part of the reward, want transparency and accountability from the PNP.
“We will wait for the PNP accounting on how they distributed it among the material witnesses to the Batocabe murder case,” he said. “We wanted a fast resolution of this case,” Garbin added.
According to Garbin, a total of P20 million in reward came from President Duterte, while the P2 million came from the provincial government of Albay.
Batocabe, a mayoral candidate in Dagara town in Albay, and his police escort, SPO1 Orlando Diaz, were killed while they were leaving a gift-giving event in Brgy. Burgos in Daraga on December 22, 2018.
Earlier, the Ako Bicol Party-list condemned the setting free of Carlwin “Awin” Baldo, the suspected mastermind of the Batocabe-Diaz killing. “Murder is non-bailable yet with one stroke of a pen this judge revisits to the families of the victims the pain of losing their loved ones,” the party-list said.
Garbin said Branch 10 of the Regional Trial Court of Legazpi City ordered Baldo’s release on bail even though all the accused-conspirators pointed to him as the mastermind of the killing.
“We cannot fathom how the judge could have made such a ruling when the evidence is overwhelming against Baldo. The witnesses have spontaneously and separately identified him as the mastermind, the evidence gathered by the police point to him as the mastermind, and he has a clear motive to mastermind the commission crime. There is enough evidence to convict and definitely more than enough to deny bail,” he added.