(Eagle News) — The venue of the murder trial of former Daraga, Albay Mayor Carlwyn Baldo over the killing of Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Rodel Batocabe is now in Metro Manila.
This was after the Supreme Court second division granted the request of Gertrudes Batocabe, Batocabe’s wife; Justin Caesar Anthony Batocabe; and Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Alfredo Garbin for the transfer of the venue from Branch 10 of the regional trial court in Albay, Legazpi.
In making the request contained in letters dated Sept. 4 and 6, Batocabe’s group cited the alleged bias and partiality of Judge Maria Theresa San Juan-Loquillano towards Baldo.
Members of the group said they also feared for their safety and of their family especially considering Baldo was now out on bail.
“Direct the branch clerk of court of the RTC Branch 10 , Legazpi City, Albay to forward the entire records of the criminal case…to the Office of the Executive Judge of the RTC, Manila within three days from notice,” the SC said.
The SC also ordered the executive judge to raffle the case upon receipt of the records.
Apart from Baldo, five others were charged for the murder of Batocabe and Police Senior Master Sergeant Orlando Diaz, his companion, on Dec. 22, 2018.
Authorities said the murder took place after Batocabe announced he was running for mayor in the elections.