MANILA Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Wednesday dismissed as "totally unfounded" embattled Daraga, Albay Mayor Carlwyn Baldo's insinuation of interference by Undersecretary Markk Perete in the pending murder case against him.
"Usec. Perete has no involvement whatsoever in the operations of the prosecution service, which is under the supervision of another undersecretary. His being a relative of Daraga vice mayor (Victor) Perete is purely (coincidental)," Guevarra said in a message to reporters.
"He has never talked about Mayor Baldo's cases with anyone, much less with the investigating panel. Usec. Perete is one of the most honest and respected officials of the DOJ," Guevarra added.
Last week, the Camarines Sur Provincial Prosecutor's Office ordered the filing of two counts of murder against Baldo and five others for the killing of Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel M. Batocabe and his police escort, Orlando S. Diaz, last December 22.
Aside from Baldo, indicted for the twin killings are Christopher Naval, alias Tuping; Emmanuel A. Rosello, alias Boboy; Jaywin I. Babor, alias Gie; Henry G. Yuson, alias Rommel Yuson; and Rolando Arimado, alias Lando.
Prosecutors said the plan to kill Batocabe was hatched sometime in June last year at Baldo's compound and the group later moved to a safe house in Villahermosa, Daraga, Albay. The group then regularly monitored Batocabe's movement before deciding to attack.
Baldo's group is also facing charges for attempted murder after bystanders Nelia Millena, Gregorio Mediavillo, Jesus Medez, Florencita Mendones, Ellen Mansos, and Haydie Llorca were wounded during the shootout between the group and authorities. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency