Manhunt for fugitive Mayor Baldo wanted for murder of Batocabe, police escort

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A manhunt operation was launched Monday against Mayor Carlwyn Baldo of this town after police operatives failed to serve him two warrants of arrest for double murder and six counts of attempted murder.

Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 10 Judge Maria Theresa San Juan-Loquillano last week issued two warrants for Baldo and six others, as suspects in the killing of Ako Bicol Party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe and his police escort, Senior Police Officer 1 Orlando Diaz, late last year.

Loquillano did not recommend bail for Baldo and the others accused, some of whom have surrendered to authorities while one was arrested Monday.

Lt. Col. Rodelon Betita, Daraga police chief, said his men failed to serve the warrants Monday noon, prompting the police to carry out a manhunt operation against the town mayor.

Betita said they would again serve the warrants at the residence of Baldo but if he would still fail to show up and refuse to heed the court order, they would be forced to issue an “All Points Bulletin” to all police units across Bicol region.

The subjects of the warrants dated May 3, 2019 aside from Baldo are: Christopher Naval alias “Tuping”; Emmanuel Rosello alias “Boboy”; Jaywin Babor alias “Que”; Henry Yuson alias “Rommel”; Danilo Muella alias “Manoy Dan” as accomplice, and Rolando Arimado alias “Landor”, who was arrested Monday.

The other suspects who earlier surrendered have signified their willingness to serve as witnesses against Baldo.

“We are ordered by the court to serve the warrants and bring the subjects before the court. We have to abide by that order,” Betita told reporters here.

Reports gathered showed Baldo has sent feelers to the authorities and would surface anytime on Tuesday.

Aside from murder and attempted murder, Baldo is also facing charges for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition before RTC Branch 10.

Batocabe and Diaz were gunned down during a gift-giving event in a village in Daraga on Dec. 22, 2018.

The lawmaker was then contesting the reelection bid of Baldo.

Philippine National Police probers have tagged the mayor as mastermind in the twin murders but Baldo denied the claim.

Batocabe’s widow, Gertrudes, took over her husband’s bid in seeking the mayoral post in this town. (PNA)