Daraga mayor asks Comelec to deny party's withdrawal of support for his re-election bid

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Daraga Mayor Albay Carlwyn Baldo allegedly hired six individuals to gun down mayoral candidate Rodel Batocabe and his security on December 22.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 19) —  The mayor tagged as the 'mastermind' in the killing of AKO-BICOL Party-list Representative Rodel Batocabe asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to deny his political party's official withdrawal of support for his mayoral candidacy.

Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo, in a comment sent to the Comelec en Banc Friday, sought to junk LAKAS-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD)'s revocation of his certificate of nomination and acceptance (CONA).

Baldo was nominated as the official candidate of LAKAS-CMD for the mayoralty post of Daraga, Albay. The slain lawmaker was his supposed political rival.

In his comment, Baldo said he is being implicated in the "sensationalized case" of Batocabe. He also maintained his innocence and denied involvement in the killing.

The Daraga mayor claimed he was not informed of the revocation, and he was not given a chance to explain.

"Due process dictates that [Baldo] should have been given the opportunity to be notified of the intention and the grounds relied upon by LAKAS-CMD, if indeed it is true, in revoking his CONA, and give his explanations thereto," the letter read.

Baldo and the six gunmen, who pointed at him as the mastermind, are facing double murder and six counts of multiple frustrated murder charges over the killing of Batocabe and his security aide.

Lakas-CMD is allied with President Rodrigo Duterte's party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan.

Baldo also sought help from the President to grant him fair treatment and to provide protection for his family amid investigations.