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Nainip sa reward: 3 witnesses in Batocabe slay recanted testimony, says son Justin

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Three witnesses in the brutal killing of former Ako Bicol Party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe have reportedly flip-flopped their statements, his son Atty. Justin Batocabe said.

During Wednesday’s inquiry of the House Committee on Public Accounts, the younger Batocabe revealed that three major witnesses in the assassination of his father have recanted their sworn affidavits and have sided with former Daraga, Albay Mayor Carlwyn “Awin” Baldo—the primary suspect in the case.

Aside from fearing for their safety, the witnesses according to Batocabe’s kin were given lucrative cash offers that’s why they decided to forswear their earlier statement against the former town mayor.

“Upon threats and offers of more money and lawyer, they flip-flopped and sided with Mr. Baldo,” said Atty. Batocabe.

“All those two who gave their ‘sinumpaang salaysay’ implicating Mayor Baldo also recanted,” Batocabe’s kin added.

Batocabe urged Congress and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to take acloser look at those witnesses who renounced their testimonies.

“Sana po hindi napabayaan yung pagbabantay sa mga witnesses na ito,” he added.

The PNP during the Wednesday’s inquiry failed to completely account how the P35-million bounty was utilized for the witnesses in the assassination of the former party-list solon

House Minority Floor Leader Bievenido “Benny” Abante last September disclosed he received “disturbing information” that several witnesses in the Batocabe-Diaz double-murder case “have not received their share” in the P35-million reward for the immediate capture of the mastermind and other perpetrators in the killing of Batocabe and his police escort, SPO1 Orlando Diaz last December 22 in Daraga, Albay.

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