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After hospital discharge Mayor Baldo back in prison

HOSPITAL DISCHARGE. Fresh from hospital confinement, Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo (with cap) being escorted back to his detention cell in Legazpi City. RHAYDZ B. BARCIA

LEGAZPI CITY --- Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo on Monday night was brought back to his detention cell in Legazpi City after almost two weeks of confinement at the University of Santo Tomas-Legazpi Hospital due to asthma and hypertension attacks. Lawyer Merito Lovenzky Fernandez, head of Mayor Baldo’s legal team, said his client Baldo chose to be back at the city jail despite of his medical condition after a high ranking national official ordered the transfer of Baldo to Camp Crame PNP hospital in Manila. Fernandez revealed that Mayor Baldo was asked by officials of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to choose between his detention cell in Legazpi City or be brought to the PNP hospital at Camp Crame in Manila. “There is no order of discharge from his physician this morning but the information I’ve got is that the CIDG wants Mayor Baldo to be locked up in jail. Mayor Baldo was told to choose if he wants to go back to Legazpi City jail or be sent to Camp Crame PNP hospital in Manila,” Fernandez said. The move to bring him to Manila was opposed by Baldo’s legal team led by Fernandez for fear of their client’s safety and security during transit to Manila. “There is a risk and for security reason, I cannot advise [his transfer] because anything can happen during the transit,” he said. Baldo’s legal counsel did not identify the name of higher official who wanted Baldo to be transferred in Manila after he was rushed to the hospital for his asthma and hypertension ailments. Baldo was discharged at UST Legazpi hospital at past 7:00 in the evening of Monday, February 4. He was wheeled back to the Legazpi City PNP headquarters by a UST hospital ambulance. Baldo has been in confinement at the UST Hospital Legazpi since January 22, a few hours after his arrest for illegal possession of deadly weapons when he complained of asthma and hypertension attacks. From UST-Legazpi Hospital, Baldo’s family, along with few political supporters, accompanied him to the PNP headquarters here. He was locked up in his cell past 9:00 p.m. after a briefing with the PNP personnel and meeting with his family and legal team inside the police headquarters here. Prior to Baldo’s discharge, Senior Supt. Arnold Ardiente, CIDG Bicol director, admitted to reporters that he had told Baldo early Monday morning that he would be transferred to Camp Crame PNP hospital in Manila. “He is under our custody so he is supposed to be in our PNP hospital. But since the attending physician issued a discharge order, that means he was safe to back to jail,” Ardiente said. Ardiente clarified that they did not compel Baldo’s attending physician to issue the discharge order. Baldo, the alleged mastermind in the killing of AKO Bicol Representative Rodel Batocabe, was arrested by CIDG agents on January 22 after a police team recovered unlicensed weapons inside his residence in Barangay Tagas, Daraga town. Recovered from Baldo’s residence during the CIDG raid on the strength of a search warrant were two caliber .45 pistols with 8 live ammos, one live ammo for M16 and one grenade launcher ammunition. The police team also confiscated Baldo’s white Isuzu Alterra, which was the subject of the arrest warrant signed by Legazpi City Regional Trial Court Executive Judge Elmer Lanuzo. Before his assassination, Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Rodel Batocabe had filed his certificate of candidacy to run for mayor of Daraga town against incumbent Mayor Baldo. Acting Vice Mayor Victor Perete is also running for the same seat.

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