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Daraga Mayor Baldo now a fugitive

NOT HERE. Arresting police officers waited for an hour before being allowed to enter the house of Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo who was not around. RHAYDZ B. BARCIA

DARAGA, Albay ---- The Philippine National Police (PNP) in Daraga on Tuesday declared Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo a "Wanted Person" after its police personnel for the past two days failed to serve the arrest warrant issued by a local court here, according to Police Senior Supt. Rodelon Betita.

Betita said the failure to locate and arrest the town mayor prompted them to include his name in the roster of the town’s wanted persons.

Betita in a phone interview said "we have talked with the Mayor's wife and his lawyer asking them to convince Mayor Baldo to surrender and comply with the court order."

He said police are tracking down the fugitive town mayor’s possible hidinbg places. "We are closely monitoring and validating these areas where the mayor could possibly go and seek refuge."

Betita confirmed however, that people close to the Baldo family have sent surrender fillers that yown mayor would surrender in due time.

The mayor remains the alleged mastermind in the killing of his political rival, Rep. Rodel Batocabe of Ako Bicol partylist who had sought to run as Daraga mayor.

Betita first served the warrant of arrest on Monday morning at the residence of mayor but Baldo was not around.

Later in the afternoon, Betita and the CIDG personnel went to Baldo’s ancestral home but they had to wait for an hour before being allowed to enter Baldo’s compound.

Betita and his men, along with the CIDG personnel, were able to get into Baldo’s home after lawyer Merito Lovenzky Fernandez, one of Baldo’s legal counsels, met and allowed the police authorities, including members of the media to enter Baldo’s house.

Fernandez toured the arresting officers around Baldo’s ancestral home but the subject person could not be found.

The lawyer that his client (Mayor Baldo) will surrender before the authorities peacefully to face the charges filed against the town mayor.

Baldo’s wife, Romella Apuli-Baldo, also said that her husband will surrender peacefully and will not run away from the charges filed against him.

“We don’t know that there is an arrest warrant from the court today but my husband will not run away from authorities and will face his charges,” Baldo’s wife said.

This is the second time that Baldo eluded arrest when he was booked for illegal possession of firearms.

Baldo and five other suspects are facing double murder and six attempted murder charges for the killing of Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Rodel Batocabe and his police security aide, SPO2 Orlando Diaz, on December 22, 2018.

Batocabe was running for mayor against Baldo in Daraga when he and his police escort were ambushed by alleged hired killers.

Betita said that they would conduct a manhunt operation against Mayor Baldo if he fails to surrender. “We will hunt him and treat him like an ordinary person facing ctiminal charges,” Betita said.

Baldo’s arrest came a week before the May 13 polls.

Baldo is running for mayor of Daraga town against the late Rep. Batocabe’s widow Gertrudes “Gertie” and incumbent vice mayor Victor Perete.

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