Suspended Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag opposed the recent call by Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla to surrender to his alleged involvement in the killing of veteran broadcaster Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa.
“I don’t have an arrest warrant yet, but he is asking me to surrender. There is no subpoena yet. There is no preliminary investigation. Nothing yet. Why are they in a hurry? It’s like they want to put me in jail already,” Bantag said in an interview.
He said there is no arrest warrant yet, so there is no reason for him surrendering to the authorities.
Bantag is among those charged with murder for the murder of Lapid and the alleged “middleman” in the case, Cristito Villamor Palaña or Jun Villamor.
Recently, the DOJ assured that they would issue a subpoena on Monday, November 14 against Bantag, National Bilibid Prison (NBP) Supt. Ricardo Zulueta and four others regarding the case.
Villamor was mentored by self-confessed gunman Joel Escorial who ordered him to kill Lapid.
Villamor died while in custody at the NBP four hours after Escorial was presented to the public.
Bantag has no plans to surrender
According to Escorial, before taking his life, Villamor allegedly confessed to him that Bantag was one of those who killed Lapid.
It can be remembered that Lapid was shot in his car near BF Resort Village in Las Piñas on October 3 at night.
Earlier, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla encouraged the suspended Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief to file a counter affidavit, believing that the mastermind behind the killing of broadcaster Percy Lapid is still in the Philippines.
“I would say so because remember they’re government officials,” Remulla told reporters when asked if Bantag was still in the country.
“Hindi ka puwedeng umalis ng Pilipinas kapag wala kang (You cannot leave the Philippines without) travel authority. Unless they secured passports that did not reflect their true professions,” added Remulla.
He also called on Bantag to file a counter affidavit and told him not to respond to the allegations through the media.