Batocabe family staying in politics despite lawmaker's slay

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 03 2019 10:42 AM | Updated as of Jan 03 2019 12:08 PM

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MANILA - The family of slain AKO-Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe will stay in politics, seeing it as the "best way to get back" at his assailants, his son said Thursday.

Batocabe's widow, Gertie, is "open to thinking about" running for mayor in Daraga town, in place of her husband, said their eldest son, Justin, who is the second nominee of AKO-Bicol.

"It’s to show them that despite this, we are strong and we are still ready to serve, we will give everything that we have for the people," Justin Batocabe told ANC's Headstart.

"If I quit, I would be scorning my father’s legacy, because his legacy was one of public service. In the moment of death, that was what he was doing—public service to PWDs and senior citizens of far-flung areas," he said.

Another "viable option" for Daraga mayor is the slain lawmaker's brother, who is also from the same town and bearing the same surname, the son said.

The elder Batocabe was supposed to run against incumbent Mayor Carlwyn Baldo and Vice Mayor Victor Perete. He was distributing Christmas gifts in his hometown when he and his police escort were gunned down by at least 6 assailants last December 22.

Local surveys said some 73 percent of Daraga voters prefer Batocabe, according to Justin.

Authorities are looking at 2 possible angles for the lawmaker's slay, that it was politically motivated or that the New People's Army was behind it.

Leftist rebels could not be behind his father's killing because one of the casualties was a local communist leader's aunt, Justin said. The slain lawmaker was also welcomed into rebel areas where he delivered aid.