MANILA — Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde on Monday said the bullet shells and slugs recovered in the area where Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe was killed matched the .40-caliber pistol of the self-confessed gunman.
He said this finding boosted the double murder and frustrated murder charges against suspected gunman Henry Yuson, Christopher Naval, Rolando Arimado, Ammanuel Rosello, Jaywin Babor and Daniel Muella who purportedly participated in the assassination.
Albayalde noted that only one among the seven indicted suspects has yet to surrender, Mayor Carlwyn Baldo, tagged as the mastermind who allegedly contracted the services of the gunmen in September 2018 to assassinate Batocabe.
Yuson’s licensed cal. 40 firearm reportedly was used to gun down Batocabe and his security escort, SPO2 Orlando Diaz last December 22 during a gift-giving event in Daraga, Albay.
“So, we are now confident na totoo ang sinasabi nito [Yuson] (that what he is saying is true) and that will now boost our case,” Albayalde told reporters during a press conference.
He said police investigators recovered 11 spent shells and five slugs from the crime scene which all matched Yuson’s gun.
When Yuson surrendered to authorities Thursday, he said he served as the main gunman and used a cal. 40 pistol which he dismantled and disposed of in the river after the incident.
Police investigators said they are only awaiting the extrajudicial statement of the two other suspects to be finished before they can include the statement of all the suspects in charges which they filed before the Albay prosecutors office.
They will also prepare for the filing of appropriate charges against Baldo before the Office of the Ombudsman as instructed by Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año.
Batocabe was supposed to run for mayor of Daraga in this year’s mid-term elections. (PNA) By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan