COMBINED agents of the Philippine National Police - Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and the Police Regional Office 5 yesterday arrested Daraga, Albay Mayor Carlwin Baldo after police found loose firearms, bullets and explosives in his house.
Baldo was tagged as the alleged mastermind behind the killing of AKO Bicol party-list Rep. Arnel Batocabe and his policeman-aide last month.
Members of the CIDG Albay Provincial Field Unit, the Daraga Municipal Police Station, the Regional Mobile Force Battalion 5 of the Police Regional Office 5 and the Regional Intelligence Unit 5 stormed the house of the 45-year-old mayor in Baldo Compound, Lakandula Drive in Bgy. Tagas at 2:30 p.m. yesterday on the strength of a search warrant for violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013.
The mayor was arrested after the raiders recovered the target of the search warrant: A white Isuzu Altera with plate no. BCW-941, a cal. .45 Colt MK IV pistol, a cal. .45 Colt pistol 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 Altera was believed to be the vehicle used by the suspects in casing the victims and fleeing the scene after the deadly attack.
Baldo was taken to the local CIDG headquarters for investigation, said PNP-CIDG director Chief Supt. Amador Corpus.
Earlier, 11 cal. 40 shells and five slugs recovered by the police at the exact area where Batocabe and his policeman-bodyguard were shot dead last December 22 matched those fired from the licensed firearm of Henry Yuson alias “Romel,” a former New People’s Army rebel-turned militiaman who confessed to shooting the lawmaker.
A key witness, Emanuel Bonita Judavar, has provided investigators with information regarding the case - from planning to execution stages.
Officials said that Judaver corroborated the testimonies of Yuson and another prime suspect, Christopher Naval alias “Tuping,” that Baldo offered them P5 million to assassinate Batocabe shortly after the solon announced last August his plan to seek the Daraga mayoral post.