BELEAGUERED Daraga, Albay Mayor Carlwyn Baldo was rushed to the hospital at around 11 p.m. Tuesday, just hours after being arrested for illegal possession of firearms and explosives.
The mayor, tagged as the ‘brains’ behind the assassination of AKO Bicol party-list Representative Rodel Batocabe and his policeman-bodyguard, SPO2 Rolando Diaz experienced hyperventilation while inside his detention cell and his blood pressure shot up Tuesday night, said a report to PNP-CIDG director, Chief Superintendent Amador V. Corpus.
According to 5th Regional Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit chief, Senior Supt. Arnold Ardiente, the mayor was supposed to undergo inquest proceedings yesterday for violation of the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013.
However, the inquest proceedings would only materialize if attending physicians will certify that Baldo is fit to leave the UST Hospital in Legazpi City.
On Tuesday afternoon, combined agents of the PNP-CIDG, the PNP Intelligence Group and the Police Regional Office 5 arrested Baldo after a raid in his house led in the confiscation of firearms and explosives, a report to PNP chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde said.
Members of the CIDG Albay Provincial Field Unit, the Daraga MPS, the Regional Mobile Force Battalion 5 of PRO5 and the Regional Intelligence Unit 5 stormed the house of the 45-year old mayor in Baldo Compound, Lakandula Drive in Barangay Tagas at 2:30 in the afternoon on the strength of a search warrant issued by Judge Elmer Lanuzo of the Legaspi City Regional Trial Court.
“This is part of the ongoing police effort to find more pieces of evidence that will bolster the case against the suspects and ensure their successful prosecution by the court,” said new PNP spokesman Bernard M. Banac as he extended Gen. Albayalde’s commendation to the arresting officers.
The mayor was arrested after the raiders recovered the target of the search warrant: a white Isuzu Altera with plate no. BCW-941, a caliber .45 Colt MK IV pistol with serial no. 924173; a cal. .45 Colt pistol with serial no. 517381 loaded with one live ammunition; one Uzi machine pistol magazine with seven live ammunition for cal. .45; an M203 grenade launcher ammunition; eight live cal. .45 ammunition; and one live M-16 ammunition.
The mayor was taken to the local CIDG headquarters for investigation after the raid, said PNP-CIDG director, Chief Supt. Amador V. Corpus.
Banac said that the search was done in the presence of Mayor Baldo and his family and was witnessed by Bgy. Tagas Chairman Warren Bahillo and ‘kagawad’ Zenaida Lovino.
Meanwhile, another caliber .45 pistol believed to have been used in the killing of Batocabe and his policeman-bodyguard was recovered by police investigators in a fishpond in Ligao City in Albay where it was thrown away by one of the assassins, Corpus said yesterday.
The weapon -- a cal. .45 Taurus PT24/7 PRO semi-automatic pistol with serial no. NEY 89334 and with a magazine containing 10 live ammunition was found in a fishpond in Purok 3 in Barangay Busay, Ligao City by members of the Special Investigation Task Group Batocabe 12:35 p.m. yesterday following information supplied by one of the arrested suspects identified as Christopher ‘Tuping’ Naval.
Officers from the Albay Police Provincial Office, the CIDG Region 5, the Regional Intelligence Unit 5 and the Regional Legal Service 5 recovered the pistol during a search of the fishpond which was witnessed by local barangay officials and the fishpond owner, Corpus said.
“According to Naval, the pistol is one of the two firearms used by captured Batocabe gunman Henry Yuson,” Corpus added.
PNP chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde directed the PNP Crime Laboratory to conduct a forensic examination and cross-matching of the recovered pistol with the spent .45 cartridges found at the area where Rep. Batocabe and Senior Police Officer 2 Rolando Diaz were killed last December 22.
“The examination will exactly determine if the spent cartridges recovered at the crime scene were fired from the .45 pistol recovered today,” said new PNP spokesman, Senior Superintendent Bernard M. Banac.