The murder of Ako Bicol Congressman and Daraga, Albay mayoralty candidate, Rodel Batocabe, puts Albay in a hotspot. Observers and voters alike are asking what will happen next now that Batocabe is gone and how come the municipality has come to this.
Prior to the death of Batocabe, the mayoralty race was seen as three-cornered with Batocabe under the National Unity Party (NUP) banner, current Mayor Carlwyn Baldo under Lakas Christian-Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD), and Victor Perete of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban). The odds were with Batocabe especially with the support of Ako Bicol who has links with House Speaker and former President Gloria Arroyo.
With Batocabe gone, the tables turned and instead became messy. Baldo was tagged as a suspect in the murder and slapped with two counts of murder and six frustated murder cases. Baldo, however, claimed innocence stating that he is being used as a scapegoat leaving the real culprit untouched.