ALBAY, Philippines – Embattled Daraga town Mayor Carlwyn “Awin” Baldo has asked President Rodrigo Duterte for “fair justice,” as he reiterated his innocence in the murder of AKO Bicol Representative Rodel Batocabe and his security aide.
Baldo, who had yet to be formally charged for the killings, made the appeal in a video message taken in his home in Tagas Village in Daraga town on Friday, January 18, after he received information that he would be served a search warrant that day.
The mayor also assured the President that he would face whatever charges would be filed against him but appealed to him to help ensure the safety of his family.
“Mr President, humihingi po ako ng tulong sa patas na hustisya. Kung ano man po ang mga inaakusa sa akin, haharapin ko po nang buong-buo. Ang hinihiling ko rin po na sana ‘wag malagay sa alanganin ang buhay ng aking pamilya (Mr President, I’m asking for fair justice. I will face any charges filed against me. I’m also appealing that the safety of my loved ones would not be put at risk),” Baldo said.
Baldo delivered his video message to the President in the presence of his wife, mother, daughter, relatives, and his legal team. His mother and eldest daughter had earlier issued statements in his defense.
Duterte had earlier warned the mastermind behind Batocabe’s killing that he would “personally confront, drag and slap” him. He had also added P20 million to the reward pot for information that would lead to the arrest of Batocabe’s killers.
Batocabe was running for Daraga mayor in the May elections against reelectionist Baldo, whom the alleged hitmen in the congressman’s killing had allged to be the mastermind of the crime. – Rappler.com
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