MANILA, Philippines – Trickles of blood marked the spot where AKO Bicol Representative Rodel Batocabe and his bodyguard SPO1 Orlando Diaz were killed on Saturday, December 22.
According to the police report, they were shot by two unidentified gunmen right after Batocabe finished a gift-giving program for senior citizens in Daraga, Albay.
Batocabe had 8 gunshot wounds on the body, while Diaz was shot once in the head and twice to the body. Both were declared dead on arrival at the hospital.
In a phone interview with Rappler, Daraga police chief Superintendent Benito Dipad said the two were shot at close range.
“Siguro merong mga spotter naman ‘yun doon. Paalis na si congressman, nakatayo na sa labasan sa may waiting shed, biglang dumating ang mga suspects at agad-agad pinagbabaril si congressman,” Dipad added.
(The suspects most likely had spotters there. When the congressman was leaving, standing outside at the waiting shed, the suspects arrived and shot him multiple times.)
The suspects wore black bonnets and were onboard a motorcycle, Dipad said.
The police chief added that it appears each suspect had a gun. Cops found shells of 40- and 45-caliber pistols at the crime scene. (READ: Start gun ban already, Lacson tells PNP after Batocabe slay)
Cops have yet to establish a motive behind the high-profile killing. No witnesses have come forward, so far.
The Philippine National Police is set to form a special investigation task group to probe Batocabe’s murder round-the-clock. (READ: Malacañang vows ‘no stone unturned’ in Batocabe probe)
Batocabe is the first congressman to be killed under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, following a series of killings of mayors and vice mayors.
Here are photos of the crime scene: