Gunman says sorry to Batocabe family: 'Napag-utusan lang po'

MANILA, Philippines – The alleged main gunman in the killing of AKO Bicol Representative Rodel Batocabe apologized to his grieving family.

He said he was just following orders and just wanted to pursue a better life promised by his boss.

Speaking in a press conference in Camarines Sur broadcast by CNN Philippines on Facebook, Henry Yuson said he just followed orders from Daraga Mayor Carlwyn "Awin" Baldo after being promised money for killing the congressman. (READ: Daraga mayor 'offered' P5 million for Batocabe's life)

"Nagso-sorry ako sa family Batocabe na ako, napag-utusan lang po ako ni Mayor Baldo (I am sorry for the Batocabe family. I was just ordered by Mayor Awin Baldo)," Yuson said, stuttering and on the verge of tears.

The PNP accused Yuson of being the primary gunman who shot Batocabe, who suffered 8 gunshot wounds. While Yuson appeared to admit guilt, it was unclear whether he was referring to all the accusations thrown against him by authorities.

Despite following orders, Yuson said he has not received money from Mayor Baldo. Baldo allegedly promised to pay the hit team P5 million for Batocabe's slay, but he has only allegedly paid a total of P250,000.

This alleged failure to pay, Albayalde said, triggered the fallout with Baldo.

"Wala po ako nakuha ni piso...Tinraydor po ako nila (I did not even get a peso...They betrayed me)," Yuson said.

"Ang gusto ni Mayor Awin Baldo na siya ang permanente na umupo sa Daraga...Kasi may pangako man siya sa amin: ...tuloy-tuloy ang kabuhayan namin (What Mayor Awin Baldo wants is for him to permanently sit in Daraga...Because he promised us that our livelihood would be sustained)," Yuson added.

Despite his apparent repentance, Yuson will still continue to face double murder charges and multiple frustrated murder charges for the fateful attack last December 22. –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.