MANILA- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is set to rule on a petition seeking the disqualification of the reelectionist Albay town mayor accused of masterminding the killing of his political rival.
Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas said the poll body's en banc would meet Thursday afternoon to decide on Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo's fate in the upcoming May elections.
Abas said Baldo's party, the Lakas-CMD, had earlier revoked the politician's certificate of nomination and acceptance (CONA).
"Mayroong petition ngayon pending sa amin dedesisyunan din namin mamaya dahil mayroong petition saying since he is no longer a member of the Lakas-CMD, so therefore he will be disqualified," Abas said.
(We will decide on a pending petition which states that since he is no longer a member of Lakas-CMD, so, therefore, he will be disqualified.)
The poll body chief, however, noted that Baldo cannot be withdrawn from the list of candidates without his consent.
"Ako, on the personal level, he will be just considered an independent [candidate] but again dedesisyunan namin yan mamaya," Abas said.
Baldo has been tagged by the police and several suspects as the "mastermind" behind the killing of AKO Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe but he has denied the allegation.
"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 previously said.
Batocabe, who was planning to challenge Baldo's reelection bid, was shot last Dec. 22, 2018 during a gift-giving activity in Daraga. -report from Raffy Santos, ABS-CBN News