DEPARTMENT OF Justice (DoJ) Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra has disputed the allegation of the legal counsel of Daraga City Mayor Carlwyn G. Baldo that the department’s undersecretary and spokesperson interfered in the mayor’s indictment over the slay of AKO Bicol Rep. Rodel M. Batocabe in Dec. 2018. “Mayor Baldo’s insinuation of interference by DoJ Usec. Markk (L.) Perete in the investigation of the mayor’s cases is totally unfounded,” Mr. Guevarra told reporters in a text message. “Usec. Perete has no involvement whatsoever in the operations of the prosecution service, which is under the supervision of another undersecretary,” he added. Mr. Guevarra also emphasized that Mr. Perete’s “being a relative” of Daraga Vice-Mayor Victor U. Perete was “purely accidental.” “He (Usec. Perete) has never talked about Mayor Baldo’s cases with anyone, much less with the investigating panel. Usec. Perete is one of the most honest and respected officials of the DoJ,” he said. The DoJ indicted Mr. Baldo in March for a murder charge over the killing of Mr. Batocabe. He was also charged of attempted murder in connection with the wounding of several others during the incident. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas