6 Batocabe slay suspects under PNP custody

January 05, 2019

SIX prime suspects and a key witness in the infamous killing of AKO party-list Representative Rodel Batocabe and his policeman-bodyguard, Senior Police Officer 2 Orlando Diaz in Daraga City, Albay last December 22 are now in police custody after two more yielded to authorities overnight, Philippine National Police chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde announced yesterday.

The PNP chief reported the surrender of Rolando Arimado alias ‘RR’ in Masbate at 7 a.m. yesterday and Danilo Muella alias ‘Manoy Dan’  in Bicol past midnight Friday.

According to Albayalde, Arimado was shuttled to Bicol mainland by heavily-armed policemen shortly after his surrender in Masbate island and was placed under custody by the Albay Police Provincial Office. He said the suspect surrendered after negotiations made by the police with his wife and son.

“This latest development is expected to complete the puzzle in uncovering the truth behind this double murder and multiple frustrated murder case.” the PNP chief said.

Arimado, a rebel-returnee was tagged as look-out and back-up gunman in the Batocabe-Diaz slay in Barangay Burgos in Daraga.

He said that Muella, another trusted security aide of Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo surrendered to the Regional Intelligence Office 5 under Senior Superintendent Edgar Monsalve at 1 in the morning yesterday. The suspect was identified as the man who procured 2 caliber .45 pistols used in the daring gun attack which also wounded 7 senior citizens.

Apart from Arimado and Muella, 4 other prime suspects identified as Christopher Naval alias ‘Tuping,’ Emmanuel Rosello alias ‘Boboy,’ Henry Yuson alias ‘Romel’ and Jaywin Babor alias ‘Gie’ are already under police custody.

A key witness, Emanuel Bonita Judavar has provided investigators with relevant information regarding the case from planning to execution stages, the country’s top cop said.

Gen. Albayalde noted that only Mayor Baldo is yet to surrender to the police. Baldo has been tagged as the ‘brains’ behind the killing.

Yuson, was arrested on Friday by operatives of the Albay Police Provincial Office in coordination with the Army’s 903rd Brigade on the strength of an outstanding warrant of arrest of rape with no bail recommended.

The warrant docketed under Criminal Case No. 7628 was issued on October 20, 2015 by Judge Ignacio Barcillano Jr. of the Ligao City Regional Trial Court Branch 13.

“With the gunman in custody, we now have an airtight case that we will present in court to ensure successful prosecution of all accused,” Gen. Albayalde said.

During questioning by the PNP Intelligence Group and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Yuson confessed to be the main gunman who shot Batocabe and Diaz allegedly with a cal.40 pistol.

According to the Albay PPO, Yuson has executed an extra judicial confession in the presence of a lawyer, detailing his personal knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the murders.

Babor surrendered to authorities following his indictment before the Albay Provincial Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday.  Babor is an ex-Army man who was designated as driver of the getaway motorcycle used by the gunmen, the PNP chief said.

Yuson, a former NPA rebel-turned militiaman was tagged as the main gunman who shot Batocabe allegedly with a caliber 40 pistol.

PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group director, Chief Superintendent Amador V. Corpus said Yuson yielded to his superiors in Sorsogon on Thursday afternoon. In turn, the Army turned over the suspect to the Albay Police Provincial Office and the 5th Regional Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit.