Bantag can’t transfer murder cases to ombudsman

Neil Jayson Servallos - The Philippine Star
Bantag canât transfer murder cases to ombudsman
Suspended Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag attends the preliminary investigation for the murder case of broadcaster Percy Lapid at the Department of Justice on December 5, 2022.
STAR / KJ Rosales

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) has denied suspended Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag’s motion to reconsider his appeal to have the murder cases against him transferred to the Office of the Ombudsman.

In a press briefing, Assistant State Prosecutor Charlie Guhit said the panel of prosecutors investigating the murders of broadcaster Percy Lapid and Jun Villamor, a New Bilibid Prison inmate who was the alleged middleman in Lapid’s killing, denied Bantag’s motion for reconsideration and that the next hearing would be on Feb. 8.

Bantag and his co-accused are supposed to submit their counter-affidavits during the next preliminary investigation hearing on Feb. 8, according to Guhit.

During the Jan. 24 preliminary investigation hearing, Bantag’s lawyer, Rocky Balisong, filed a motion for reconsideration of the DOJ’s earlier resolution that denied his motion to inhibit the DOJ from his cases.

Balisong earlier cited as one of several grounds for inhibition the trading of barbs between Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla and Bantag. Balisong said his client deserves an “impartial and independent tribunal.”

The DOJ panel, in denying the motion, pointed out that Bantag’s right to due process was not violated.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Balisong said they would seek all available legal remedies to recuse the DOJ from Bantag’s case.


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