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Daraga Mayor Baldo, alleged mastermind in Batocabe slay, nabbed by CIDG

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Authorities arrested on Tuesday Daraga, Albay Mayor Carlwyn Baldo at his residence in Barangay Tagas for alleged possession of illegal firearms, a report from Super Radyo dzBB said.

Baldo has been identified by several witnesses as the mastermind in the murder of Ako Bicol partylist Rodel Batocabe last December.

Members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) who swooped down at his home early Tuesday morning found loose firearms, bullet and grenades, which do not have necessary permits.

Baldo was arrested after authorities discovered illegal firearms in Baldo's residence while serving a search warrant issued by Executive Judge Elmer Lanuzo of the Legazpi Regional Trial Court.

Confiscated from the Daraga mayor were two cal-45 pistols, one of them loaded; a magazine for an Uzi machine pistol loaded with ammunition; an ammunition for a greande launcher; eight live ammos for a cal-45; and a live ammo for an M16 rifle.

Also recovered was a white Isuzu Alterra (plate number BCW 941).

The report said he would be brought to the Philippine National Police-Region 5 headquarters in Albay.

The search warrant was signed by Judge Elmer Lanuzo of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Legazpi City, while the other warrant was signed by  RTC Branch 10 Judge Maria Theresa Loquillano.

Batocabe, along with his police escort Senior Police Officer 1 Orlando Diaz, was shot dead on December 22 while he was about to ride his vehicle from a gift-giving event in Albay at a covered court at Barangay Burgos in Daraga.

The police have already filed murder and frustrated murder charges against Baldo in connection with the killing of Batocabe and his aide, and the wounding of seven others last December.

The Office of Provincial Prosecutor of Albay has formally asked Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo to answer the charges filed against him.

Before Baldo's arrest, the six other suspects in the muder have already been placed under police custody.

The Department of Justice has earlier ordered immigration authorities to monitor any attempts by the alleged mastermind and suspects in the murder to leave the country. 

Last week, Ronald Ang, a nominee of Ako Bicol party-list, took his oath to replace Batocabe. 

Rumors have swirled that Batocabe's wife Gertie will replace him in the mayoral race, but their son, Justin, said their family has yet to arrive at a final decision. 

The P20-million bounty dangled by President Rodrigo Duterte has already gone to a witness who gave information that led to the arrest of suspects in the slay. —with Joviland Rita/LDF/MDM/NB, GMA News

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