Statement of DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año on the filing od murder charges against Mayor Carlwyn Baldo for the death of Rep. Rodel Batocabe

January 3, 2019

We commend the Philippine National Police led by P/Director General Oscar Albayalde, Police Regional Office 5, PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the PNP Intelligence Group for solving the case of the killing of Congressman Rodel Batocabe in record time and for identifying Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo as the mastermind.

The PNP already has in its custody eyewitnesses and numerous pieces of evidence that point to the mayor as the mastermind of the killing. Thus, we have an air-tight case which we shall duly prove in court. In fact, we have already filed cases of double murder and multiple frustrated murder against Baldo and several other suspects.

We will also convene the National Police Commission which I chair to revoke the mayor’s authority over the officers and men of the Daraga Police Station.

The breakthrough in this case occurred because of relentless police investigation and intelligence operations and we shall apply this standard in all possible acts of “political terrorism” in connection with the forthcoming elections. As directed by the President himself, the DILG-PNP will run after all those who will resort to “political terrorism” like ordering the death of their opponents to ensure their hold on political power.

Let this, therefore, serve as a stern warning against all politicians not to intimidate, harass, or do violence against their political opponents in the forthcoming elections, otherwise the DILG-PNP will run after them and ensure that justice will be served. I have placed the PNP on heightened alert to monitor the activities of all candidates in the forthcoming elections.

The DILG-PNP is also committed to dismantle private armed groups of politicians as well as revoke the firearms licenses of those found to be violating the law. It does not matter if you are a congressman, governor or mayor, no one is above the law and we will implement the law without fear or favor.

The powers of incumbent local chief executives over their local police units will also be revoked should they abuse their authority or otherwise engage in violent activities such as in this case as well as in the case of the mayor of Guimbal, Iloilo.