PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said yesterday they received information that Batocabe had been getting death threats from the rebels after he rejected their extortion demands.
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NPA, gun-for-hire eyed in Rodel Batocabe slay
Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - December 25, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) is eyeing the possible involvement of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the murder of Ako Bicol party-list congressman Rodel Batocabe and his bodyguard in Albay last Saturday.

PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said yesterday they received information that Batocabe had been getting death threats from the rebels after he rejected their extortion demands.

For his part, Chief Supt. Arnel Escobal, Bicol region police director, said a gun-for-hire group could be involved in Batocabe’s murder.

“There is information na parang ito nagbibigay or hinihingan ng (he was giving or being asked to pay) revolutionary tax or extortion by NPAs in the area,” Albayalde told reporters.

He said there were reports Batocabe’s intransigence angered the guerrillas, leading them to plot his murder.

“We have information like that,” he said, but clarified they were still validating it.

He said investigators are exploring other motives, including politics. The lawmaker was eyeing the mayoral seat of Daraga in next year’s midterm elections.

Batocabe and his bodyguard, Senior Police Officer 1 Orlando Diaz, were gunned down as they were about to board their vehicle after a gift-giving activity for senior citizens in Barangay Burgos on Saturday.

Albayalde has ordered the administrative relief of Albay police director Senior Supt. Milo Pagtalunan and regional Police Security Protection Group (PSPG) chief Supt. Charlotte Peñalosa.

His order was meant to pave the way for an impartial investigation of possible lapses the two police officials may have committed.

Asked why Peñalosa was included in the relief order, Albayalde said he received information the police official wanted to remove Batocabe’s security escorts before the killings. – Edu Punay, Sheila Crisostomo

AKO BICOL PARTY-LIST NEW PEOPLE’S ARMY RODEL BATOCABE
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