MANILA Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde on Tuesday urged Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo to turn himself in.
It's better if he will just surrender. Anyway, he will have his day in court, Albayalde told reporters when sought for a comment on Tuesday.
Albayalde directed the Police Regional Office-5 (Bicol) to immediately serve the arrest warrants issued by the Legazpi City Regional Trial Court (RTC) against Baldo.
Last week, RTC Branch 10 Judge Maria Theresa San Juan-Loquillano 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 (alert order) to all police units across Bicol Region.
The subjects of the warrants dated May 3 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.
Aside from murder and attempted murder, Baldo is also facing charges for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition before the 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.
The PNP 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 of Daraga. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency