MANILA - The P50-million reward money for the arrest of suspects behind AKO Bicol partylist Rep. Rodel Batocabe's killing will be given to the witness who helped authorities crack the case, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Tuesday.
PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said he would recommend that the reward be given to Emmanuel Judavar, who surrendered to police on December 29 and gave information pointing to the group that planned and executed the killing and exposed Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo as the alleged mastermind.
“Siya ang tatanggap don sa ibibigay na reward kasi sa kaniya naman lahat nagsimula 'yun. Remember ‘yung involvement niya ay last August pa and then humiwalay siya sa grupo ni Mayor Baldo,” Albayalde said.
(He will receive the reward because it all started with him. Remember he was involved with the group since August, then he left Mayor Baldo's group.)
In his affidavit, Judavar said he was part of the early stages of planning Batocabe's assassination but that he backed out when they had a falling out about money.
One of the suspects, Christopher Naval, said in his affidavit that Judavar called him last December 27 to ask for goodwill money after they successfully killed Batocabe on December 22.
CIDG Director Chief Supt. Amador Corpus said they already had Judavar in custody that time and that his request for goodwill money was actually part of the plan to confirm the identity of the suspects.
Meanwhile, PNP Bicol is also going after the Concepcion gun-for-hire group allegedly led by Gilbert Concepcion.
According to PNP Bicol director Chief Supt. Arnel Escobal, Concepcion was a former scout ranger who Naval contacted first to kill Batocabe.
“Itong Concepcion gun-for-hire group ay former military na naging rogue at gun-for-hire. We are looking for them at nagko-conduct kami ng operations because some of the contractors are complaining na nag-e-extort ito ng money from the contractors,” Escobal said.
(This Concepcion gun-for-hire group is a former military that went rogue and gun-for-hire. We are looking for them and we're conducting operations because some of the contractors are complaining that they are extorting money.)
Corpus said Naval initially contracted the Concepcion group to do the job, but for some reason, they did not deliver.
“Ang sinabi ni Naval the offer of Mayor Baldo initially nung December, P3 million. So ang ginawa ni Naval, he offered it to the Concepcion group in the amount of P1.5 million,” Corpus said.
(Naval said Mayor Baldo's initial offer last December was P3 million. Naval said he offered it to the Concepcion group in the amount of P1.5 million.)
“Nag-down siya ng P150,000 but I don't know what's the reason hindi nag-deliver 'yung Concepcion group, that’s why [in] the end, Dec. 22, 'yung grupo din niya nag execute ng plano,” Corpus added.
(Baldo gave a downpayment of P150,00 but I don't know what's the reason why the Concepcion group did not deliver, that’s why in the end, Dec. 22, his group executed the plan.)
Albayalde, meanwhile, said they were investigating the angle where Naval’s group went to a politician in Masbate before killing Batocabe.
“Yes that’s part of our investigation. Sino 'yung politiko? Hindi pa natin masabi sa ngayon kasi apparently sabi nga mayroon daw kumuha doon sa Uzi nitong isang suspect. That's an Uzi na submachine gun,” Albayalde said.
(Yes that’s part of our investigation. Who was the politician? We can't say yet because apparently someone allegedly took a suspect's Uzi, a submachine gun.)
The PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group is also investigating another personality believed to be a co-conspirator in Batocabe's slay.
“Nagbigay ng pera at saka nagtakas sa kanila when they withdrew somewhere in Camalig town then sinundo sila ng sasakyan, so that was his involvement,” Corpus said.
(He gave money and led them to escape when they withdrew somewhere in Camalig town, then he picked them up with a vehicle, so that was his involvement.)