Gujab! Malacanang cheers PNP for solving Batocabe killing

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MANILA — Malacañang on Thursday lauded the Philippine National Police (PNP) for quickly solving the murder of Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe and his police escort SPO1 Orlando Diaz last December 22.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo hailed the PNP after it named Daraga, Albay Mayor Carlwyn Baldo for reportedly masterminding Batocabe’s assassination.

“We laud the efforts of the PNP, headed by Director General Oscar Albayalde, and the close cooperation of the local community in putting an early and swift conclusion of the investigation into the murder of Rep. Rodel Batocabe and his police escort, SPO1 Orlando Diaz, as well as the wounding of other innocent bystanders,” Panelo said in a statement.

“This is a breakthrough in the pursuit of justice for the victims and their families,” he added.

Panelo emphasized the importance of “mutual cooperation and support” between the PNP and the local community in suppressing and solving acts of lawlessness and other crimes.

“The early solution of the Batocabe murder is the result of this partnership – and credit should be given to them,” Panelo said.

He also urged citizens to immediately report to authorities any activities and/or acts committed by persons which have the appearance of unlawfulness or irregularity amounting to a crime.

Meanwhile, Panelo assured that while Baldo and others were tagged as suspects, they will also be afforded due process.

“Daraga, Albay Mayor Carlwyn Baldo, together with all others tagged as suspects of the aforesaid murder, will have their day in court where they can refute the charges hurled against them,” Panelo said.

“While they too are afforded the constitutional presumption of innocence and consequently will be accorded due process, the government shall nonetheless prosecute them for the heinous crime without delay,” he added.

Last December, Duterte bared that he had leads on the suspects behind Batocabe’s killing but did not give further details.

He also warned against candidates who killed their political opponents to win during elections.

Batocabe was supposed to run for mayor of Daraga in this year’s mid-term elections.

The President visited the slain congressman’s wake last December 26. (PNA)

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