MANILA — A Department of Justice (DOJ) panel on Tuesday junked suspended Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag's motion for reconsideration over the murder charges filed against him.
The charges were in connection with the killings of broadcaster Percival "Percy Lapid" Mabasa, and New Bilibid Prison inmate Jun Villamor, who was tagged as an alleged "middle man" in Mabasa's murder.
Bantag did not appear in previous preliminary investigation hearings, but had asked the panel to reconsider its ruling denying his motion for inhibition through his lawyer Rocky Thomas Balisong.
In his motion, Bantag cited the murder complaint he filed against Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla before the Office of the Ombudsman.
But according to Percy Mabasa’s brother Roy, the DOJ denied Bantag's request because no new arguments were presented.
“Walang nakitang bagong argumento kaya nakita ko yung panel nag move sa dismissal ng motion nila,” Mabasa said.
On the other hand, Balisong said they had no choice but to accept the panel's ruling, but maintained that they would exercise all legal remedies available to them.
“Well, we have to respect kung ano disposition of this panel, in the same manner we should also be respected in exercising whatever legal remedies that we’ll have,” said Balisong.
The next preliminary hearing is set on Feb. 8.
—Report from Jeck Batallones, ABS-CBN News
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