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Official linked to Batocabe slay not off the hook yet: Albayalde

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Philippine National Police chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde on Wednesday said a local official being linked to the killing of Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Rodel Batocabe is not yet off the hook.

“We still have no substantial evidence yet to link this official to the incident, but we are not discounting the possibility. He is not totally off the hook in this case,” he said in a noontime press conference at Camp General Simeon A. Ola here.

When asked to name the official, Albayalde refused, saying it would be unfair to do so. “We probably withhold the name in fairness despite the numerous information and text message being received by the police from his detractors.”

He said it would be unfair to name any suspect without producing substantial pieces of evidence as the investigation is still going on.

Meanwhile, police investigators have established the identities of at least six persons of interest in the killing of Batocabe and his security escort last Saturday in a remote village in Daraga, Albay.

Albayalde again refused to name names, saying that investigators are gathering more information and evidence that would link the suspects to the murder.

He said that although they already have the names, “not a single one of the persons of interest were invited for questioning or arrested,”
as investigators would like the case buildup to be strong.

Albayalde presided over the meeting of the newly created Special Investigation Task Group on Batocabe’s murder to personally look into the status of the ongoing investigation.

Albayalde said so far, investigation is focused on two possible motives for the crime — political and the involvement of the New People’s Army rebels. (PNA)