Daraga mayor claims innocence, says perpetrators "free and blameless"
Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo, accused by the Philippine National Police ( PNP) of being the mastermind behind the killing of AKO Bicol Partylist Rep. Rodel Batocabe and SPO1 Orlando Diaz denied his involvement in the incident.
In a press briefing on television, Baldo said he is innocent. He also expressed his condolences towards the family of the slain lawmaker and his security personnel.
"A great injustice has been done, not only to Cong. Batocabe and SPO2 Diaz, but also to their families, to the victims who were caught in the line of fire and to the people of Daraga," he said. Batocabe and Diaz were shot dead by gunmen after a gift-giving activity for senior citizens and persons with disability in Daraga on Dec. 22.
"I assert innocence. I am an easy target but that does not make me guilty of the crime," the mayor added.
Baldo explained he will not give further statements until they get the official copy of the complaint from the Albay provincial prosecutor's office.
"Upon the advice of my legal counsel, I will refrain from discussing this matter until we have properly and formally received our copy of the complaint," he said.
Baldo reminded people that while he is being blamed for the slay, the real perpetrators are still on the loose.
"Let us not forget that while I'm being used as convenient scapegoat, those who are truly responsible for the crime remain free and blameless. I'm already being persecuted in the courts of public opinion. I am a public servant at I only want to serve the people," Baldo said. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS