WIFE FIGHTS BACK. Gertie Batocabe, the widow of the slain party-list congressman, faces the media to announce her candidacy to run as mayor of Daraga town, to replace her husband who was running for the seat when he and his security escort were gunned down. She is joined in photo by Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara. PIA PHOTO
LEGAZPI CITY—- After 40 days of self-reflection, mourning, and soul searching, Gertrudes “Gertie” Duran-Batocabe, the widow of slain Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe, announced on Friday afternoon that she was running for the mayoral race in Daraga town as replacement for her late husband.
“Finally, yes I am ready and I’m running in behalf of my husband Rodel,” the widow said.
She said it was not an easy decision but after President Rodrigo Duterte advised me to run and assured me of his support she acceded after their meeting inside Malacanang Wednesday last week.
Gertie said “I am heeding the advice of the president and with that assurance, it gave me strength – I think I am ready. ”
“Ako po ang magpapatuloy ng legasiya ng aking asawa, I am heeding the call of the president and my family and my polital supporters,” (I will continue the legacy of my husband, I am heading the call of the president and my family) Gertie said in an interview.
She added that she wouldl continue the vision, plans and dreams of her late husband.
Asked what made her decide to continue the fight, Gertie said “its a long process, it’s not a single factor, I did my soul searching and ask many questions... I cannot let his death go in vain”.
According to Gertie, Daraga town is saddled with persistent issues concerning traffic, garbage, and water. In confronting the problem she quoted a famous line from British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher: “If you want something said, ask a man, but if you want something done, ask a woman.”
Fifty-year old Gertie would be the first female chief executive of Daraga town once she gets elected in the May 13 mayoral race.
A graduate with a Mass Communication degree from the University of the Philippines, Gertie first worked with a multi-national firm.
At a press conference, Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara also assured Gertie of his support, saying “she is the handpicked candidate of the President.”
He said he also pledges his support “but in politics we can’t promise results because it is the people that finally chooses.”
The mayoral race in Daraga is a three-cornered fight among incumbent town Mayor Carlwyn Baldo, Vice Mayor Victor Perete, and Gertie, the widow of slain AKB Rep. Batocabe
Baldo was tagged by the police as the mastermind in the killing of Batocabe and his security escort during Christmas gift-giving for senior citizens and the person with disability (PWD) in Barangay Burgos, an upland village in Daraga town last December 22, 2018.
Baldo is facing double murder and six counts of frustrated homicide for that bloody incident. He was arrested a few days ago for illegal possession of firearms, explosive and ammunition. He is now confined at the Legazpi city jail.