DILG wants Daraga Mayor Baldo suspended over Batocabe slay

Rambo Talabong
DILG wants Daraga Mayor Baldo suspended over Batocabe slay
Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año stresses they have 'very strong' evidence against Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) wants Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo suspended from his post after he was tagged as the “mastermind” in the killing of AKO Bicol Representative Rodel Batocabe.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in a Camarines Sur press conference on Friday, January 4, that his department is already preparing administrative cases against Baldo to be filed before the Office of the Ombudsman.

“Administrative cases are also being filed in the Ombudsman, so we can request immediately the preventive suspension of the mayor,” Año said.

Año said he is not privy to the particular offenses their legal team would accuse Baldo of, but Año said they are most likely to raise cases of conduct unbecoming of a public official, grave abuse of discretion, and acting contrary to the interest of the public.

The DILG Secretary said he is confident that their cases, both criminal and administrative, will prosper, given the rate that suspects are surrendering and turning into witnesses. (READ: Another suspect in Batocabe slay surrenders to police)

Napaka-strong ng evidence sa mayor. Remember the mayor, denial lang ‘yung kanya. You know, denial is not a ground for a good defense (The evidence is very strong against the mayor. Remember that the mayor only gave a denial. You know, a denial is not a ground for a good defense),” Año stressed.

Año was referring to the impromptu press conference of Baldo on Thursday after the PNP implicated him in the high-profile murder. He claimed that he was innocent but did not rebut the accusations aired in public.

Baldo explained during the briefing that his lawyers cautioned him against speaking without reading the formal complaint against him first.

He is being accused of organizing the kill team that targeted Batocabe and offering P5 million for a successful assassination. This claim was translated into double murder, and multiple frustrated murder complaints filed before the Albay Provincial Prosecutor’s Office. – 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.