Arroyo calls for full prosecution of Batocabe slay suspects

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 14) — House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Monday called on the Justice Department to ensure that the suspects in the killing of AKO-Bicol Party-list Representative Rodel Batocabe are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

While she commended the Philippine National Police for swiftly identifying the mastermind behind Batocabe's killing, Arroyo said authorities should ensure justice is served to his family.

"Now that the mastermind and his co-conspirators have been identified, in behalf of the House, I join all our colleagues who have made a call for our pillars of justice that now the job is to ensure that the mastermind and the co-conspirators be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," Arroyo said during the necrological service held for Batocabe at the House of Representatives.

"There should be no let up, no stone left unturned until justice is served," she added.

Batocabe and his aide SPO2 Orlino Diaz were shot dead on December 22 last year during a gift-giving activity.

The PNP has tagged Daraga, Albay Mayor Carlwyn Baldo as the mastermind behind the killing. All six suspects who surrendered to the PNP have attested to the police's claim. Baldo, however, vehemently denied the allegation.

READ: Subpoena served to Daraga town mayor over alleged involvement in Batocabe slay

Batocabe remembered

During the memorial service, tributes poured in for the slain partylist lawmaker.

Arroyo remembered Batocabe as a serious and hardworking member of the House while Buhay Party-list Representative Lito Atienza recounted the lawmaker as a good friend.

Minority Leader Danilo Suarez lauded the representative's dedication in passing bills especially on issues close to his heart.

Meanwhile, the Batocabe's son, Justin, said their family will continue his father's legacy of public service and made sure violence doesn't reign in Daraga.

"We will not allow greed and violence to ruin my father's beautiful hometown. We will not allow the injustice of indolent leadership. Together, we shall honor his memory by continuing his good deeds and public service," the younger Batocabe said.