Legazpi court bars overseas travel for Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo

MANILA, Philippines – A Legazpi court has barred overseas travel for Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo in relation to the murder complaint filed against him over the killing of AKO Bicol Representative Rodel Batocabe, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said on Friday, January 25.

“We received word that the Regional Trial Court at Legazpi City has issued a Precautionary Hold Departure Order (PHDO) against Mayor Carlwyn Baldo in relation to the Batocabe case,” DOJ Undersecretary Markk Perete said on Friday.

What does this mean? It means Baldo is barred from traveling outside the country, unless he gets a written permission from the same court.

This adds to the hindrances to Baldo’s liberty because he was arrested on January 22 over an unrelated case of illegal possession of firearms. He was rushed to the hospital that same night for asthma and remained confined under police custody, as of posting.

If not for the confinement, police officers should have immediately brought Baldo to local prosecutors for inquest. When the inquest does happen, the local prosecutor will decide if the warrantless arrest was valid or invalid. 

Baldo could hope for an invalid arrest decision, or at the very least, a release order from prosecutors.

With the PHDO, Baldo is now barred from traveling overseas. 

What is a PHDO? Usually, courts can only issue HDOs when charges have been formally filed in court.

In the Batocabe murder case, the complaint against Baldo is still at the prosecutor level.

But recent rules of the Supreme Court allow prosecutors to seek a precautionary HDO from courts, which was issued in the case of Baldo.

“To recall, the OIC Provincial Prosecutor of Albay filed on 07 January 2019 an application for a PHDO against Mayor Baldo and 5other personalities in relation to the murder complaint filed against them currently under preliminary investigation,” said Perete.

Baldo earlier appointed an ally councilor as Daraga OIC mayor while he remained in detention. – Rappler.com

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.