SIX prime suspects and a key witness in the infamous killing of Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabo 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 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 Friday midnight.
According to Albayalde, Arimado was shuttled to Bicol mainland by heavily-armed policemen shortly after his surrender in Masbate and was placed under custody by the Albay Police Provincial Office. He said that 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 slaying in Bgy. Burgos in Daraga.
He said that Muella, another trusted security aide of Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo, surrendered to the Regional Intelligence Office 5 under Sr. Supt. Edgar Monsalve at 1 a.m. yesterday. The suspect was identified as the man who procured two cal. .45 pistols used in the daring gun attack, which also wounded seven senior citizens.
Apart from Arimado and Muella, four 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.
Albayalde said that only Mayor Baldo is yet to surrender to the police.
Baldo has been tagged as the “brains” behind the killing of Batocabe.
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 a warrant of arrest for rape, with no bail recommended.
Yuson confessed to be the main gunman who shot Batocabe and Diaz allegedly with a cal.40 pistol.
“With the gunman in custody, we now have an airtight case that we will present in court to ensure successful prosecution of all accused,” Albayalde said.
DARAGA MAYOR SURRENDERS GUNS.
Mayor Baldo who was stripped of his gun licenses and permits by Philippine National Police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde on Friday morning voluntarily surrendered three of his four registered firearms to police officers who went to his house.
According to PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Benigno Durana Jr., a team of policemen from the Regional Civil Security Unit 5 and the Daraga Municipal Police Station confiscated the mayor’s guns on the strength of a demand letter issued by the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office following Albayalde’s order.
Durana said that the officers went to the Baldo Compound in Tagas, Daraga, where they received the mayor’s 12-gauge shotgun with one magazine containing 15 live ammunition, a cal. .45 Colt semi-automatic pistol with one loaded magazine and 45 bullets, and a cal. .45 Para-Ordnance pistol with three magazines.