LEGAZPI CITY --- The alleged mastermind of the killing of Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Rodel Batocabe-- former Daraga Mayor Carlwyn “Awin” Baldo -- has been finally allowed to post bail in the amount of P8.720M on Wednesday morning and may be released from jail anytime soon.
Baldo, who was accused in the killing of Batocabe and his police escort in December last year posted bail yesterday. He was accompanied by his legal counsel, Merito Lovensky Fernandez, and his mother, Gloria Go-Baldo.
Baldo posted a bail bond worth P8.720M for his temporary release barely a week after Judge Maria Theresa San Juan Loquillano of the Legazpi City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 10 gave the green light for bail as early as last Monday.
But Baldo’s legal counsel was not able to post bail on Monday when the town was celebrating the General Ola Day in Albay, a non-working holiday here.
Baldo’s mother Gloria and his legal counsel Fernandez arrived at the Regional Trial Court Branch 10 on Tuesday for the processing of the bail bond but were unable to complete the requirements.
It took another day for Baldo’s legal team to complete the requirements. Baldo’s mother refused to give a statement pointing to the gag order from the court.
Baldo was charged with the murder of Batocabe and his police escort, SP04 Orlando Diaz, on December 22, 2018 in Barangay Burgos in Daraga, Albay while the congressman was giving away Christmas gifts to the senior citizens.
Batocabe had then announced he was running for mayor of Daraga against Baldo and vice mayor now Mayor Victor Perete. Baldo was charged with double murder and 6 counts of attempted murder in the local court here.
Loquillano allowed Baldo to post bail on Aug. 29, which was contested by the slain lawmaker’s kin and his partymates in Ako Bicol Partylist led by Reps. Elizaldy “Zaldy” S. Co and Alfredo “Pido” Garbin.
When asked for his comment on Baldo’s posting of bail, Batocabe’s son said that the former mayor of Daraga is a flight risk.
“The fact that he was able to immediately post bail show that he is financially capable and is a flight risk. Coupled with the staggering amount of evidence he should not have been allowed to post bail in the first place,” the young Batocabe said.
Batocabe, 52, was distributing Christmas gifts in December 22, 2018 when he and his police escort were gunned down by at least six assassins.
Baldo surrendered on May 10, 2019 but maintained his claim of innocence, pointing to other more powerful persons who may have gained from Batocabe’s death.