Bantag questions murder raps before CA

Neil Jayson Servallos - The Philippine Star
Bantag questions murder raps before CA
Bureau of Corrections Former Director General Gerald Bantag.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag is seeking the reversal of his murder indictment for the deaths of broadcaster Percy Lapid and inmate Jun Villamor before the Court of Appeals (CA).

In a 32-page petition dated July 10, Bantag told the CA that Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla, Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento and the prosecutors who handled his murder cases committed grave abuse of discretion for taking his case to trial before the Las Piñas and Muntinlupa trial courts.

Bantag stressed that since he had asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to recuse itself from the case due to his animosity with Remulla – which he claims could have affected the outcome of his case – going through with the preliminary investigation is an act of “impropriety and failed to muster the required neutrality of an investigating prosecutor.”

He said the DOJ committed grave abuse of discretion by taking the case under preliminary investigation despite his motion to have it heard instead by the Office of the Ombudsman.

Bantag also questioned the lack of evidence to link him to the 2022 murder of Lapid, known legally as Percival Mabasa.

The prosecutors alleged that Bantag gave the instructions to kill Lapid and Villamor to his then-deputy Ricardo Zulueta, who cascaded the orders to prison gang leaders.

The gang leaders then contracted the hitmen – Joel Escorial and members of the Sputnik prison gang Sputnik – who confessed to killing Lapid and Villamor.

Bantag is seeking the reversal of his indictment despite Zulueta’s guilty plea to lesser offenses in the twin murder cases.

In response to Bantag’s petition, Remulla said: “What’s his personality? He has not submitted to the jurisdiction of the courts. How can the courts entertain him?”

Bantag and Zulueta remain at large.

Meanwhile, prison gang leaders Aldrin Galicia (Sputnik), Alfie Peñaredonda (HappyGoLucky) and Alvin Labra (Batang City Jail) have pleaded guilty as accessories to Lapid’s murder.

Following suit, eight of their gang members also pleaded guilty as accomplices to Villamor’s murder.

vuukle comment


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with