By Chito Chavez
As administrative cases are being readied against Daraga, Albay Mayor Carlwyn Baldo, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will also be pushing for the suspension of the local chief executive who was tagged as the mastermind in the killing of AKO Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe last December 22.
Batocabe was supposed to contest the mayoralty post against Baldo, who will be seeking re-election in the May 2019 midterm polls.
Aside from the murder and frustrated murder raps, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in a news briefing that administrative cases are going to be filed before the Office of the Ombudsman “so we can request immediately the preventive suspension of the mayor.”
Aside from the cases that the DILG legal team will file, Año said the agency also intends to file cases of conduct unbecoming of a public official, grave abuse of discretion, and acting contrary to the interest of the public.
Recognizing the remarkable job of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Año said the air-tight pieces of evidence pointing to Baldo as directly involved in Batocabe’s slaying the criminal and administrative cases against the embattled mayor will prosper.
In raising his point, the DILG chief said the alleged gunman and other suspects now in police custody will now serve as witnesses.
The DILG chief insisted the set of evidence was strong against Baldo, with denial being only his lone excuse which is a weak ground for defense.
After being tagged as the mastermind, Baldo conducted a press conference, professing his innocence while saying he was an easy and convenient target of false accusations by his political rivals.
Baldo was accused of hiring a team of gunmen that carried out the slay plot on Batocabe offering them P5 million for a successful slaying of the congressman.