DARAGA, Albay -- Hundreds braved the heavy downpour in this municipality as slain AKO-Bikol Representative Rodel Batocabe’s funeral march roamed the town proper from the Ricardo Arcilla Hall of the Bicol University, before a Requiem mass was held at Our Lady of Gate Parish here on New Year’s eve.
Supporters wearing black t-shirts printed with a statement crying for justice for Batocabe and his police escort SPO1 Orlando Diaz, crowded Our Lady of Gate Parish during the mass officiated by Legazpi City Bishop Joel Baylon.
The son of Batocabe, lawyer Justin Batocabe, in an eulogy dubbed his father as, “the best Mayor Daraga town never had”, but he claimed that due to greed and selfishness his father was brutally slain.
While Justin said, “the killing of his father was a suppression of Batocabe’s good deeds and plans for the people of Daraga town,” he added, that his father is gone, but his legacy will continue.
Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara also expressed great loss on the death of Batocabe and claimed, “he could have been an outstanding Mayor, and did not deserve to die at the height of his political career.”
Both Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal and Sto. Domingo town Mayor Herbie Aguas denounced the culture of violence that claimed Batocabe’s life. They condemned that political killing is not a part of politics in Albay and local politicians have adhered to law and order.
During the last day of Batocabe’s wake at the Bicol University compound, Senator JV Ejercito told reporters, “this has to stop, political violence in the country has become a trend.” He also condemned the cowardly act and senseless violence in the political slaying of Batocabe.
A 21-gun salute was rendered by PNP honor guards during Batocabe’s internment at the Daraga Catholic Cemetery.