Bantag awaits Marcos verdict on BuCor stint: 'Di pa ako dismissed'

Joyce Balancio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 10 2023 06:34 PM

Suspended Bucor chief Gerald Bantag with his son Seal, who graduated from the PNPA on Friday. Joyce Balancioi, ABS-CBN News 
Suspended Bucor chief Gerald Bantag with his son Seal, who graduated from the PNPA on Friday. Joyce Balancioi, ABS-CBN News 

 MANILA -- Suspended prisons chief Gerald Bantag said Friday that he was still waiting for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s decision on whether he would continue his work at the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor). 

Speaking to the media after his son’s graduation at the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) in Cavite, Bantag said he was only suspended and not yet dismissed.

“Alam mo hindi pa naman ako tapos as Director General doon. Hindi pa ako nadi-dismiss. Hinihintay ko lang at nirerespeto ko ang magiging desisyon ng ating mahal na pangulo,” he said.

“Ano lang ako, suspended. Kahit na illegal ang pagkaka-suspend ko, okay lang kasi 90 days tapos another 90 days, may ganoon ba? Wala eh. Pero bayaan mo sila, okay lang,” he added.

(I am not yet through as Director General there. I have not been dismissed. I am waiting for and will respect the decision of the President. I am just suspended. Although my suspension is illegal, it's okay. It should have been just 90 days, but was extended to 90 more days, is there such a thing? None. But let it be. It's okay.) 

During the ceremony, Bantag joined Marcos on stage when his son, Seal Bautista Bantag, received his diploma for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Public Safety.

He did not have the chance to speak with the President though, he said.

“Ang protocol kasi hindi ka pwede makipag-usap [kay Pang. Marcos], so hindi ka rin kakausapin. So ganoon lang,” he explained.

(The protocol is you can't speak with the President, so I did not. That's just how it is.)

Asked if he was still open to join the government should he be given any appointive position, he answered in the affirmative.

“Siyempre eh naghihintay lang naman tayo. Sino ba naman tayo para tumanggi. Siyempre gustong gusto natin iyon,” he said.

(Of course, we are just waiting. Who are we to refuse? Of course, we would like that very much.)

Bantag was ordered suspended by Justice Secretary Boying Remulla to give way to an investigation on the death of an alleged middleman from the New Bilibid Prisons in the killing of radio broadcaster Percy Lapid.

Former Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gregorio Catapang Jr. replaced him as the officer in charge of BuCor. 

Remulla earlier announced that Malacañang would soon appoint Catapang as the permanent Director General of the Bucor.


Watch more News on iWantTFC