GLOBAL ONE NEWS (G1) — The Philippine National p\Police (PNP) has named the “mastermind” behind the killing of Congressman Rodel Batocabe.

A PNP spokesman said Jan. 5 the suspects “gave their testimonies… pointing to one mastermind” identified as Daraga City Mayor Carlwyn Baldo.

Batocabe was assassinated on Dec. 22 when gunmen opened fire at a gift-giving event.

His bodyguard was also killed and several senior citizens in attendance were wounded.

Authorities said Baldo plotted the killing and hired a six-member group of a gun-for-hire syndicate to kill Batocabe for ₱5 million (nearly $96,000).

He reportedly only paid them ₱250,000 ($48,000).

Three of the suspects have already surrendered.

Baldo denied accusations saying he was “being used as a convenient scapegoat.”

Batocabe was reportedly leading in the mayor’s race in the run-up to the May election where Baldo was seeking re-election.  

House speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo meanwhile said the suspects must be “prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”