MANILA -- The chair of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) on Friday urged authorities to leave no stone unturned in going after the killers of AKO BICOL party-list representative Rodel Batocabe.

"Cong. Batocabe is a big loss to the electoral tribunal. We are outraged at his senseless killing. I am shocked and deeply saddened by this threacherous attack. His views are quite insightful. It is always very interesting to debate with him," SC Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta said.

"Those responsible should be apprehended at the soonest possible time to show to the public that crime never pays and to deter those thinking of sowing violence from proceeding with their sinister plans, especially during this time when elections are fast approaching," Peralta added.

Batocabe, 52, was shot dead, along with his police escort, SPO1 Orlando Diaz, at about 3 p.m. Saturday, by two unidentified men wearing black face masks, while attending a gift-giving event for senior citizens and persons with disabilities in Barangay P. Burgos, Daraga, Albay.

Batocabe was running for mayor of Daraga.

Batocabe and Diaz, died while on the way to AMEC Hospital in Legazpi City. The congressman suffered eight gunshot wounds while Diaz suffered six gunshot wounds.

 The HRET is composed of three senior Supreme Court justices and six House of Representatives members and adjudicates election related controversies involving members of congress. (PNA)