Watch Stupid Evil Deadly Traditional Politics of the Philippines. The Rodel Batocabe Murder.
Many hearts bleed for the lives that are wasted and lost on a daily basis in the country. Some lives are lost by operation of the law as in the continuous drug excursions conducted by police authorities with the blessing and support of Malacanang against suspected and known substance users and supplier-criminals . And the countdown continue as if it is a natural occurence already as seen on that angle.
But other than that, the upcoming elections and the atmosphere of intense political rivalry is also a contributor to the countdown of wasted warm bodies.
Months before the actual election which should happen in May 2019 or four months from now, we are getting a preview of things to come.
The opening salvo, at least in Bicol region in general, and in Albay province in particular, we have learned of the dastardly, despicable and horrible murder of Bicol Ako Party list representative Atty Rodel Batocabe.
The popular Batocabe was gunned down by an unidentified assailant or assailants at around 3 p.m. at the covered court of Barangay Burgos of Daraga town on December 22 of the past year. That was after attending a gift-giving party to senior citizens and persons with disability (PWD).
Had he not attended the party on the same day, he would have celebrated his wedding anniversary with his wife and joined by his two sons. But instead forego with the celebration and went ahead with the scheduled christmas party gift giving.
Batocabe was serving his last term in congress so he turned his sight on the mayoralty race in the premier town of Daraga. So that the party gift giving can be construed as already an immersion with his would-be municipal constituents and voters. It is short of being considered campaigning.
But hey, many politicians that have filed their certificates of candidacy are already campaining in their own subtle ways. Just look at the former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Go. He has long resigned from the Malacanang post filed candidacy for senator, and yet, wherever the president has an engagement in the provinces, ex SAP Go is also around. He has learned the trade early and fast. Already, he is a free-rider and gaining mileage with every mention by his former boss in every gathering, free of charge. What could he have done better?
This is very typical of politicians, traditional politicians or trapos and even the neophyte ones. Plenty of them do not desire to leave their political posts anymore, in the guise of serving the constituents. Good example of that is President Duterte who has been mayor of Davao city and still coveted the seat in Malacanang. But while leaving the seat in Davao, he got replaced by his daugther as mayor and son as vice mayor.
As if there is a dearth of people not eager enough to enter politics. So in majority of towns, cities, provinces, districts and the senate, many are hold over politicians who have started young and now have their white hairs, on various elective posts and still would not leave politics behind until after they become incapacitated, dead by reason of illness or murdered.
Many, too many have made a political dynasty, seriously, that even their wife, husband, son, daughter, brother, mother, father, including in-laws, anybody in the family are made to run in the election and win seats.
Only here in the Philippines it is prevalent that husband and wife and sister are senator, mayor and congresswoman as the Cayetanos, or mother and daughter and grandson are congresswoman, governor and board member, like the Marcoses, husband, wife and son are senator, mayor and vice governor as the Revillas, father, son and grandson are representatives and governor as the Villafuertes, daugther and father as mayor and congressman as the Lagmans, or the Fuentebellas that dominate politics in the Partido area of Camarines Sur.
Name the combination and you can find not only one but a-plenty in the country of 105 or so million people alreaady. The stinging pinch in here is that the voters continue to tolerate the prevailing situation at their own detriment.
In Albay, traditional politicians play the musical chairs, which is a common and accepted norm in the country. At some times, the governor and representatives just change residence from one district to another, or run from congressman to governor. It would seem they are the firmament that only death can take them away. So death it is that political rivals resort to vacate a post or forcibly remove a strong contender for the post.
So for Mr. Batocabe coming home from the gift giving party was his last. He expired before treatment at the hospital. More ironic here was that the police officer Orlando Diaz detailed as bodyguard also succumbed to gunshot wounds.
At the wake of the murdered party list representative, political leaders came and checked on the situation and condoled with the breaved wife and sons. To name some, former president and now Speaker of the house of representatives, Gloria Macapagal Arrroyo came. Quezon City congressman Feliciano Belmonte came. President Rodrigo Duterte consoled the widow by encouraging her to run for the mayoralty seat!
Please, the widow was still grieving and has to bury first the husband. She was crying for justice. Not for the mayoralty seat.
Duterte confirmed he had asked the widow Gertie Duran-Batocabe to run in her husband’s place when he visited the lawmaker’s wake.
Duterte assured the security of the family. At the same time, he assured the family of the slain police officer of government support like a house of their own if renting and assured the schooling of the four kids left behind.
Batocabe, the first congressman to be murdered during the Duterte administraton, was shot in broad daylight by two unidentified gunmen in a waiting shed right after attending a gift-giving program for senior citizens. His bodyguard, SPO1 Orlando Diaz, was also killed.
But here’s one glaring fact oserved. Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara and AKO Bicol Representative Alfredo Garbin Jr announced on Sunday of December 23 during a press conference together with other elected officials from the Bicol region of putting up P15 million bounty for the capture of the perpetrators. The chorus was echoed by the House of Representatives through donations from its members in raising the bounty higher. All summed it came up to million pesos.
The approval of congressmen was perssonified by Negros Occidental 3rd District Representative Alfredo Benitez, leader of the Visayan bloc who initiated raising the reward money from the House with over 100 lawmakers having committed to donating money.
President Duterte joined the fray by rounding off the reward money to Fity Million Pesos.
For me it is glaring since, putting that much reward money seems to sideline the capability of the police at solving the case with immidiacy, to zero in on the murderer or murderers and apprehending them and bringing them to face justice they deserve.
It just made an imprint on many that if the murdered person was just an ordinary citizen, these honorable members of the house of representatives or the President would have not joined hands in putting up that reward money.
We are not privy if the promise of, or the prospect of the reward money, did help in identifying the suspects for the early solution of the crime. But it did assured the bereaved family some quarters are concerned. But did it helped the Philipine National Police?
I am noting here that just after the crime, the first reaction of the PNP heirarchy was to effect a reshuffle.
PNP Regional Director for Bicol, Police Chief Supertintendent Arnel Escobal odered relieved from his post Albay province top cop Police Senior Superintendent Milo Bella Pagtalunan on Sunday, December 23 and effective on the same day.
Albay police deputy director for administration Police Superintendent Dennia Reduta Rellata took over as designated officer-in-charge. Pagtalunan was reassigned to the Regional Holding and Accounting Unit of PNP Bicol regional office.
Quite a coincidence, the police rigodon or shake-up came just days after the PNP leadership sacked the police chief of Daraga town where Batocabe was murdered.
So here’s the ending which perhaps signals the start of the wheel of justice for the widows, of Batocabe and the policeman.
Watch the video rendition on our official Red Monkey Talks channel on YouTube on this link: The Stupid Evil Deadly Traditional Politics of the Philippines: The Rodel Batocabe Murder, or watch it below:
[Video file fact: of “Stupid Evil Traditional Politics of the Philippines: The Murder of Rodel Batocabe
✅ Video: Streams (dependent on the viewer internet connection and gadget capability, at 1920 x 1080 at 22,000 kbits/Sec and 25 frames/sec
✅ Audio: MPEG4 at 16 bit stereo @ 48 KHZ
✅ Duration: 17 mins. 08 Secs.
✅ Total file size: 1,344,859 KB]