DARAGA, Albay Mayor Carlwyn Baldo, tagged as the mastermind in the assassination of Ako Bicol Partylist Representative Rodel Batocabe and his security escort in December 2018, was arrested after police operatives found unlicensed firearms and ammunition in his house in Albay, Tuesday afternoon.
A police report reaching the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City, said Baldo, 48, was arrested by operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)-Albay, Bicol police’s Regional Mobile Force Battalion, Regional Intelligence Unit, and Daraga Municipal Police Station.
The report said the raiding team implemented two search warrants in Baldo’s house at Lakandula Drive, Barangay Tagas, Daraga, Albay, around 2:30 p.m.
Police found inside Baldo’s house two unlicensed .45-caliber pistols, a magazine for an Uzi machine pistol loaded with seven bullets, an ammunition for grenade launcher M203, eight bullets for a .45-caliber pistol, and one ammunition for an M16 rifle.
Police also recovered a white Isuzu Alterra with plate number BCW 941 which was one of the subjects of the search warrants.
Bicol police director Chief Supt. Arnel Escobal said the Isuzu was one of the vehicles allegedly used by the suspects in carrying out the hit job.
Senior Superintendent Bernard Banac, newly installed PNP spokesperson, welcomed the arrest of Baldo.
The six-member hit squad allegedly hired by Baldo to kill Batocabe was earlier arrested or surrendered to authorities.
“This is part of our effort to build solid evidence leading to the successful prosecution of the suspects in Batocabe slay.
The CPNP [chief of the PNP, Director General Oscar Albayalde] is extending his congratulations to the operating units,” Banac said.
Baldo will be brought to the CIDG office in Albay for proper disposition, the police report said. (Martin Sadongdong)