MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The wife of slain AKO Bicol Representative Rodel Batocabe claimed that politics and money motivated the killing of the congressman.
"The killer, I know who's behind it. My God, you're going to pay for that – it's all about money," Gertie Duran Batocabe said in a TV5 Interview.
"You left my sons fatherless, and me without a husband. Demonyo lang ang makakagawa niyan (only the devil can do that)," she added.
Gertie did not name the killer of her husband, but implied that the tense mayoral race in Daraga, Albay for 2019 had something to do with the murder.
Batocabe was set to run against incumbent Mayor Carlwyn Baldo of Lakas-CMD and Victor Perete of PDP-Laban.
Baldo already expressed "great sorrow" over the passing of Batocabe and ordered an investigation.
Gertie said she attempted to talk Batocabe out of running.
"I did not want him to run. Whenever I had anxiety attacks, tantrums, he would say, no, we will win this by faith and good work,” Gertie said.
Batocabe's family said that the congressman will be buried on New Year's Eve, December 31.
"Christmas has been a big thing for us. I don't think it's gonna be the same. Ang sakit. Ang sakit mawalan," Gertie said. (It hurts. Losing him hurts.)
"He was like a piece of meat. Even his private part was conked out," Gertie said.
"This is purely political – greed and money. I never knew he would be murdered. I never in my mind entertained that thought," she added.
Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon joined the chorus of condemnation against Batocabe's murder.
"I express my deep sadness over the killing of Congressman Rodel Batocabe and his police escort SPO2 Orlando Diaz, and condemn this dastardly act, which utterly runs counter to the very spirit of Christmas," Baylon said.
"I fervently pray that this grace-filled Season will help us reject this culture of violence and death, for God sent us His Son to bring us life (not death), joy (not sadness), respect, unity and peace," Baylon added. – with reports from Rhaydz Barcia/Rappler.com