NAGA CITY - (UPDATE) A suspect in the killing of Ako Bicol Party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe has linked Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo to the murder, police said Friday.
Suspect Henry Yuson surrendered to a Philippine Army unit in Pilar, Sorsogon on Thursday, the same day the Philippine National Police (PNP) tagged Baldo as the mastermind behind Batocabe's slay, Supt. Dennis Balla of the Daraga Municipal Police Station said.
Yuson, a former member of the New People's Army, claimed Baldo offered them P5 million for Batocabe's murder, but the incumbent Daraga mayor did not give them the money after their group gunned down the lawmaker, Balla said.
Yuson reportedly dismantled the gun he used to kill Batocabe and threw it down a river, PNP chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde said in a press briefing Thursday afternoon.
"Based on an initial statement, tinuturo niya (Yuson) si mayor pa din," Albayalde said.
(He's still blaming the mayor.)
"Pare-pareho yung sinasabi nila, hindi tumupad sa usapan, dun sa pera," he added.
(They're all saying that Mayor Baldo did not pay the agreed amount.)
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the hired gunmen allegedly received only P250,000 as initial payment for the killing of Batocabe.
Batocabe was shot dead 3 days before Christmas after he attended a gift-giving event in Daraga, Albay where he was running as mayor.
His bodyguard was also killed in the incident, while several senior citizens who took part in the program were wounded.
Murder charges have been filed against Baldo, Yuson, and 6 other gunmen.
Baldo has denied his involvement in the murder.
"I assert my innocence. Let us not forget that while I’m being used as convenient scapegoat, those who are truly responsible for the crime remain free and blameless," Baldo said in a press conference.
-report from Mylce Mella, ABS-CBN News