Daraga mayor: I am being used as scapegoat in Batocabe slay

Rambo Talabong
'I am an easy target, but that does not make me guilty of the crime,' says Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo

PROCLAIMING INNOCENCE. Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo in a media interview on December 24, 2018. File photo by Rhaydz Barcia/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo on Thursday, January 3, denied the accusation that he was the mastermind in the assassination of AKO Bicol Representative Rodel Batocabe.

“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 he called in his office in Daraga, which was broadcasted by ONE News on Facebook.

“I am an easy target, but that does not make me guilty of the crime,” Baldo added.

On Thursday, the Philippine National Police (PNP) filed double murder and frustrated murder complaints against Baldo before the Albay Provincial Prosecutor’s Office, citing as witnesses the hitmen who supposedly took part in the plot to kill Batocabe.

One of the witnesses, Emmanuel Judavar, supposedly told cops that he took part in the planning of the killing but backed out because Baldo allegedly offered P5 million for the hit job but did not pay up.

Baldo declined to comment on the accusations.

“I am already being persecuted in the court of public opinion. I just want to serve…Upon the advice of my legal counsel, I will refrain from further discussing this matter until we properly and formally receive our copy of the complaint,” Baldo said.

The PNP has recommended that Baldo be stripped of police powers and that government revoke his license to own and carry firearms. – Rappler.com


Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.