Rodel Batocabe supporters hold prayer rally
Cet Dematera (The Philippine Star) - September 7, 2019 - 12:00am

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines — Around 1,000 people held a prayer rally in the compound of the Hall of Justice in Barangay Rawis in this city yesterday morning to protest a court decision allowing former Daraga mayor Carlwyn Baldo, the alleged mastermind in the killing of Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe, to post bail.

Batocabe’s supporters wore black T-shirts and armbands and held placards and tarpaulins that read ”No to Bail.” They marched from the Rizal Park to the Government Regional Center, which houses the regional trial courts (RTCs).

Candles were lit as a short program was held outside the gate of the government center.

“If not for his help, I would not finish college. He was a good person... I could not accept that he is gone,” Ako Bicol scholar Sherry Mae Montalban told the crowd, referring to Batocabe.

Batocabe’s family members did not attend the rally to avoid speculations that they organized the event.

Baldo’s lawyer was allowed to post paid P8.7 million in surety bond on Tuesday.

The former mayor remains in prison as RTC Branch 10 Judge Maria Theresa Loquillano is on official leave.

The court also has to resolve the motion for reconsideration filed by Batocabe’s family. The next hearing is set on Sept. 13.

Dismayed

The Bicol police said it was dismayed with the court decision.

“Joint effort ito ng PNP (Philippine National Police) units to immediately arrest Baldo pero bigla na lang papalayain sya while the case is still pending,” Brig. Gen Arnel Escobal, regional police director, told a press briefing at Camp Crame on Thursday.

Escobal said the police has an airtight case against Baldo. He noted that three of the co-accused pointed to the mayor as the co-accused.

However, Escobal acknowledged that the case depends on the judge’s appreciation of the facts and circumstances. – Emmanuel Tupas

CARLWYN BALDO RODEL BATOCABE
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