MANILA -- Six prime suspects in the killing of Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Rodel Batocabe and his security escort, SPO2 Orlando Diaz, last December 22 are now in police custody, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said Saturday.
Citing reports, Albayalde said two more suspects, Rolando Arimado, alias RR, and Danilo Muella, alias Manoy Dan, surrendered to authorities.
He said Arimado was shuttled to Bicol mainland in the morning after his surrender in Masbate at 7 a.m.
He was taken into custody by operatives of Albay and Masbate police provincial offices after negotiations through his wife and son.
“This latest development is expected to complete the puzzle in uncovering the truth behind this double murder and multiple frustrated murder case,” the PNP chief said in a statement.
Arimado, a rebel-returnee, was tagged as look-out and back-up gunman in the assassination of Batocabe.
Muella, another trusted security aide of Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo, surrendered to the Regional Intelligence Office 5 at 1 a.m. Saturday.
He was identified as the suspect who purchased two cal.45 pistols used in the murder.
Aside from Arimado and Muella, four other suspects are in police custody -- Christopher Naval alias Tuping, Emmanuel Rosello alias Boboy, Henry Yuson alias Romel, and Jaywin Babor alias Gie.
A key witness, Emmanuel Bonita Judavar, has provided investigators with relevant information regarding the case from planning to execution stages.
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.
Cases of double murder and multiple frustrated homicide were filed in Albay against Baldo and the six others.
Batocabe was supposed to run for mayor of Daraga in this year’s mid-term elections. (PNA)