Alleged brains in killing of partylist solon, police escort to be freed on bail
The alleged mastermind in the killing of Ako Bicol Party-List Rep. Rodel Batocabe and his police escort last December 2018 was granted bail Friday.
The Legazpi City Regional Trial Court Branch 10 on Friday allowed former Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo to post bail over charges of attempted murder for the killing of Batocabe and his bodyguard last December 22 during a gift-giving event in Daraga.
Justin Batocabe, son of the slain representative, confirmed the court decision in a statement released on Saturday.
"A combination of anger, despair, and surprise are deeply felt by our family to the order of Legazpi City RTC Branch 10 to let Carl "Awin" Baldo free," the younger Batocabe said.
"This order, likewise, does not apply to the other named accused in these two cases since the court's main concern is to determine whether the evidence of guilt against movant Baldo is strong enough," a copy of the order signed by Presiding Judge Maria Theresa San Juan Loquillano read.
According to the Legazpi City RTC 10's order, aside from posting bail worth P4 million "for each murder case," the bail granted to Baldo was decided given three conditions.
"It is likewise understood that the grant of bail will be subjected to the following conditions: (i) he will appear in court whenever so required; (ii) he will inform the court and seek its approval if and when he travels out of the court's jurisdiction and (iii) he will refrain from talking about the case to media people," the court order said.
"Failure to comply with any of these conditions will be enough ground for the court to cancel and forfeit his bond," it added.
The victim's son slammed the decision saying that the charges filed against Baldo is non-bailable.
"It's already non-bailable and the evidences are strong. Why would they allow such killer to be set free?" Batocabe asked.
He added that the firearms seized from Baldo and other evidence points out that Baldo is the mastermind behind the incident.
"This is clearly to oppress the people who wanted to get justice and also to erase the achieved investigation by the authorities," he said.
"I call for the attention of the judiciary system, bring back the the justice to your people," he added. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS