AKO Bicol, Batocabe’s son slam court decision allowing Baldo to post bail

Rhadyz B. Barcia
AKO Bicol, Batocabe’s son slam court decision allowing Baldo to post bail
Former Daraga Mayor Carlwyn 'Awin' Baldo is set to be released on Monday after a Legazpi City court allowed him to post bail

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – The son of slain AKO Bicol Partylist Representative Rodel Batocabe expressed disgust over the decision of the court to allow the alleged mastermind in the killing of his father to post bail.

Judge Maria Theresa San Juan Loquillano of the Legazpi City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 10 allowed former Daraga Mayor Carlwyn “Awin” Baldo to post bail and be released on Monday, September 2. Baldo is accused of being the brains behind the killing of Rodel Batocabe and his security escort in December 2018

Justin Batocabe told Rappler that he would file a motion for reconsideration to block the release of Baldo.

“We are shocked and very sad. The evidence is numerous and strong, pointing to him as the mastermind. Murder is supposed to be non-bailable. Yet the judge said evidence is weak?” said the younger Batocabe.

“We find this ruling very disturbing. We will file a motion for reconsideration hopefully we can pre-empt (Baldo’s bail),” Batocabe told Rappler.  

Baldo was charged with murder over the killing of Batocabe and his police escort, SP04 Orlando Diaz, on December 22, 2018 at Barangay Burgos in Daraga town in Albay while giving out Christmas gifts to senior citizens. Batocabe was running for mayor of Daraga against Baldo and then vice mayor now Mayor Victor Perete.         

Similarly, AKO Bicol Partylist Representatives Zaldy S. Co and Alfredo “Pido” Garbin said in a statement sent to Rappler that they too were shocked with the judge’s decision.

“Murder is non-bailable yet with one stroke of a pen this judge revisits to the families of the victims the pain of losing their loved ones. We cannot fathom how the judge could have made such a ruling when the evidence is overwhelming against Baldo,” the statement said.

They added: “There is enough evidence to convict and definitely more than enough to deny bail. We have put our faith in the system but such an unjust ruling deserves to be called out. We strongly disagree with the grant of bail and hope that the judge reconsidered her decision so that justice may ultimately prevail.” 

In a 15-page decision Loquillano said Baldo was allowed to post bails of P3 million for each of the two murder charges, or a total of P6 million.

Loquillano’s decision obtained by this reporter, said that Baldo was allowed to post bail on the premise that he should follow the court’s stipulations.

The following were the court’s conditions to Baldo: first, he would appear in court whenever he was so required; second, he would inform the court and seek its approval if and when he travels out of the court’s jurisdiction ;and third, he would refrain from talking about the case to the media people.

Failure to comply with any of these conditions would be enough for the court to cancel and forfeit his bond.

Baldo surrendered last May 10 days after a Legazpi City court issued a warrant for his arrest. – Rappler.com

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