The mayor of Daraga, Albay was rushed to the hospital soon after his arrest for illegal possession of firearms. He had been “hyperventilating,” reports said.
But Mayor Carlwyn Baldo has bigger problems than the firearms found in his possession when his house was searched. Several witnesses have tagged him as the mastermind behind the Dec. 22 assassination of AKO Bicol Party-List Rep. Rodel Batocabe, who had earlier announced his intention to challenge Baldo for the mayor’s seat.
Batocabe’s bodyguard, SPO1 Orlando Diaz, was also killed.
According to the regional head of the Criminal and Investigation and Detection Group, the mayor was brought to the hospital hours after his arrest for a test to evaluate his heart condition.
Photos of Baldo on a hospital stretcher circulated online, boosting his claim that he had to get out of his detention center to seek medical help.
It’s a sight-—and an excuse —painfully familiar to Filipinos.
We have often seen public officials facing one charge or another wanting to gain temporary relief by claiming to be ill. We have seen them in wheelchairs, hospital beds and other contraptions. Perhaps some of their claims were legitimate; perhaps they were really suffering from medical conditions. And everybody, even officials suspected of wrongdoing, has the right to seek treatment for an ailment.
Those who invented or exaggerated their own conditions, perhaps to gain sympathy, obtain relief or deflect negative press, however, have made the situation almost comical—if only the speedy dispensation of justice weren’t being compromised.
Batocabe’s son appeared to believe the claim on face value and wished the mayor a swift recovery so that the case can move forward.
Absent real proof to the contrary, the public has no choice but to do the same and trust that the justice system would make the guilty pay for their crime.
If these prominent suspects believe they can massage the outcome of their cases or sway public sentiment to their favor by malingering—then that is perhaps their greatest affliction. Filipinos are becoming sick and tired of such antics