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Kahit mastermind! No stopping Batocabe slay brains from running for Daraga mayor

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The Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Bicol has said Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo is still qualified to run for the mayoral post despite being tagged as the mastermind in the assassination plot of Ako Bicol Party List Rep. Rodel Batocabe and Police SPO2 Orlando Diaz.

Juana Valeza, Comelec regional director, said on Thursday that Baldo is qualified to run for the mayoral post based on the certificate of candidacy he has submitted to the poll body.

She said that Baldo, despite being accused of double murder and six counts of frustrated murder, the law is clear “he is still presumed innocent until proven guilty”.

Criminal charges were filed against Baldo for allegedly masterminding the killing of Batocabe and his security escort during a gift-giving event in Barangay Burgos a remote village in Daraga town last December 22.

Valeza pointed out that only the court can rule that he is disqualified to run for an elective post, without this Baldo is fit to run for the post he has applied for.

Earlier, Baldo was stripped by the LAKAS-CMD Party of his nomination as the party candidate for mayor of Daraga town.

Valeza, a lawyer, said she expects the Comelec en banc would issue any time this week a resolution placing the town of Daraga under Comelec control.

The Comelec has the power to recall, remove, transfer police personnel in their assigned post, “if the situation becomes worse, we can ask for additional police and military troops to quell election-related atrocities,” she added.

At the Regional Joint Security Coordinating Council meeting held recently this week, the PNP and the Philippine Army were asked to closely monitor the provinces of Masbate and Camarines Sur because of reports about intense political rivalries and the presence of private armed group including New People’s Army rebels in these areas.

“We will be sending in additional police and military troops in areas where there are intense political rivalries,” she said.

As the mid-term elections period starts on Monday and until June 12 this year, all preparations are in place to make the May 2019 Election honest, orderly and clean. (PNA)