Alleged gunman of solon and cop, driver surrenders to police
The alleged main triggerman and driver of getaway motorcycle in the killing of Ako-Bicol Partylist Representative Rodel Batocabe and PO1 Orlando Diaz surrendered, police said.
At a press conference, Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Oscar Albayalde said Henry Yuson, the alleged main gunman in the assassination of Batocabe and Diaz last December 22, surrendered on Friday.
Albayalde also said Jaywin Babor who allegedly drove one of the getaway motorcycle used in the killing also turned himself in Friday morning.
"Remember, they were pressured to surrender because these people are all former military intelligence operatives. So they have been working for our intelligence operatives from both the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and PNP. That's why when this case blew up, our intelligence community already have an idea (where to find them)," Albayalde said.
Batocabe and SPO1 Diaz was killed in a gift-giving event in Albay last December 22. A P50 million bounty was raised by President Rodrigo Duterte and lawmakers to arrest the perpetrators.
Albayalde confirmed that statements Yuson and Babor gave to the police were all consistent. Yuson and Babor pointed to Daraga City Mayor Carlwyn Baldo as the mastermind.
"They volunteered on their own... They did not surrender together nor in the same time. They voluntarily gave their statements here and their statements were all consistent, without conniving with each other, " he explained.
Albayalde cited suspects' statements regarding Baldo's inability to pay the suspects the agreed amount of money in exchange for the assassination. He said the suspects initially received P200 thousand and an additional P50 thousand from the mayor.
"They both said it's because (Mayor Baldo) did not fulfill what they have agreed upon regarding to the payment.
The police chief said the suspects' statements proves that the killers were hired and being paid by the Daraga mayor. Yuson also confirmed working for Baldo and revealed political motive as main reason for the killing.
Albayalde said "it turns out that the suspects are mayor's personal staff. They are under the mayor's payroll and they are using fictitious names and they are receiving monthly compensation of P7,000.
"Mayor Baldo wants to be the permanent mayor of Daraga. He promised us that if mayorship remains steady, our livelihood and wages from him will continue," Yuson said, explaining he was only ordered to kill the congressman and his security personnel.
Albayalde said despite Baldo's claim that he did not order the assassination, he will still undergo due process.
"As I have said, nobody will admit to a crime (as serious as this). This is a serious offense. Remember, murder is without bail, double murder at that and six counts of frustrated murder. He will have his time in court. He will be given due process I am sure."
Yuson, according to the police, is an alleged former member of New People's Army (NPA) and an ex military personnel. He has a standing warrant of arrest for rape in Albay. Babor was also a former militiaman.
Police said the case, though considered solved, it remains ongoing since there are two more suspects.
"We do not consider this case closed because we still have two more suspects. Four are already under our custody out of the six, mayor is the seventh," Albayalde said. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS