Victor Perete named acting Daraga mayor while Baldo is in jail

ALBAY, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Mayor Carlwyn Baldo, who has been charged for allegedly masterminding the killing of his rival in the mayoral race, will be replaced by his vice mayor, Victor Perete for now. 

This was the decision that the Bicol office of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Commission on Elections (Comelec) reached during their meeting Friday afternoon, January 25. 

DILG Bicol will enforce the decision within 48 hours.

The Comelec, which has control over Daraga during the election season, ordered the designation of Perete as acting mayor based on the evaluation of the DILG that Baldo has temporarily lost his capacity to discharge of his duties as local chief executive. 

Maria Juana Valeza, Comelec regional director in Bicol, said her office will closely monitor the DILG's implementation of the rules of succession.

After his arrest last Tuesday, Baldo signed an order, designating his ally councilor as the officer in charge of the municipal government. His vice mayor, Perete, is running for mayor against him in May 2019. 

Daraga Councilor Joey Marcellana, who ranked 5th in the 2016 elections, is running as Baldo’s vice mayoral candidate in May.

Baldo is accused of ordering the killing of AKO Bicol Representative Rodel Batocabe, who had also filed his candidacy for mayor, challenging the reelectionist Baldo. Batocabe's police escort was also killed during the incident before Christmas 2018.

Prior to the resolution of the leadership question, Daraga local government employees were confused on who they should turn to for the management of their municipality. Daraga had been placed under Comelec control as early as January 15.  Rappler.com