Batocabe killed on day of wedding anniversary with 'wifey'

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – AKO Bicol Representative Rodel Batocabe was killed on one of the most important days of the year for him: his wedding anniversary.

His wedding anniversary on Saturday, December 22, was confirmed to Rappler by his fellow AKO Bicol congressman, Alfredo Garbin Jr. His wife Gertie later posted on Facebook about their anniversary as well.

On Saturday afternoon, Batocabe was leading a gift-giving program for senior citizens in Daraga, Albay, where he was running for mayor in the 2019 elections.

Just after stepping out of the event venue, Batocabe was shot dead by two unidentified gunmen.

The lawmaker sustained 8 gunshot wounds, according to police. His bodyguard, SPO1 Orlando Diaz, was also killed. (READ: Malacañang vows 'no stone unturned' in Batocabe probe)

In a Facebook post on Saturday evening, Gertie shared photos of her and her husband on vacation, with this caption: "Today is our wedding anniversary. I will always have these in my heart, despite how busy you were, for my 50th birthday you took me to a place off-grid just to strike it off my bucket list. I will never understand your world. Come back in my dreams Bá. Thank you my love..."

Batocabe had frequently posted photos of him and Gertie on Facebook, calling her his "wifey." Photos showed them having lunch or enjoying vacations, among others.

His most recent Facebook post with her was just last December 2, Gertie's birthday.

"To the only girl in the family who is always quietly behind her boys all year round, and only takes center stage this day, happy birthday! We love you!" Batocabe wrote in the caption.

Batocabe and his wife have two sons, Jhustine and Khiel.

As of posting time, cops have not yet spoken to the Batocabe family. They worry that the family is still in a state of shock. – with a report from Mara Cepeda/

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.