Navotas BJMP chief charged with attempted murder
- Pete Laude () - August 19, 2007 - 12:00am

The Navotas City Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) chief has been charged with attempted murder for allegedly trying to kill a teenager last week in Caloocan City.Chief Inspector Gerald Bantag, 39, formerly assistant warden of the Caloocan City BJMP, was charged last Aug. 15 before the Caloocan City prosecutor’s office.

According to Richard Peligrina, 18, a resident of Kaunlaran Village in Dagat-Dagatan, Caloocan City, he and his two friends – Rico Evangelista, 19, and a 16-year-old boy – sought shelter from the heavy rains at a waiting shed at around midnight on Aug. 7 behind the Caloocan City prison when two drunken men passed by them.

One of the men, reportedly wearing a t-shirt bearing the words Caloocan City BJMP, pulled out his firearm and fired at the lamp on the prison fence.

All three boys ran away. Peligrina said that while his two friends went to the nearby Northern Police District headquarters to report the incident, he secretly followed the two men.

But the men, who were walking towards the prison’s gate, noticed Peligrina. The boy said the man wearing the BJMP t-shirt told him, “You’re following us. You’re dead.” The man shot him thrice but missed, according to Peligrina.

Peligrina said he ran home after the incident and reported it to the NPD-District Intelligence and Investigation Division (DIID) office the following day.

Senior Inspector Romeo Onte, NPD-DIID investigation branch chief, said they recovered four empty shells for a .9-millimeter pistol from the crime scene.

At a confrontation at the NPD-DIID office on Aug. 10, Evangelista and the other boy reportedly pointed to Bantag as the one who fired at the jail’s lamp while Peligrina pointed to him as the one who fired at him.

Bantag, in a telephone interview with The STAR, denied the charges.

“I am open for investigation and is willing to surrender my firearm for ballistic examination,” Bantag said. “I am also willing to undergo polygraph test if necessary only to find out the truth.”

He begged off from answering any more questions, saying the case has been filed.

BANTAG CALOOCAN CALOOCAN CITY CHIEF INSPECTOR GERALD BANTAG CITY DISTRICT INTELLIGENCE AND INVESTIGATION DIVISION PELIGRINA
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