MANILA - A hold departure order against former Bureau of Corrections chief Gerald Bantag has been issued, a Department of Justice official said Thursday.
According to DOJ spokesperson Assistant Secretary Mico Clavano, a HDO was issued by the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court Branch 206 against Bantag and former BuCor deputy officer Ricardo Zulueta on Tuesday, April 25.
A copy was released by the DOJ on Thursday.
Bantag and Zulueta are facing murder raps for the killing of journalist Percival "Percy Lapid" Mabasa and Jun Villamor.
According to the court, the issuance of the HDO is “for the court to maintain the effectiveness of its jurisdiction over the person of the accused in this case.”
The court also noted that although a warrant of arrest has been issued against Bantag and Zulueta, they have yet to be arrested.
“In order not to frustrate the ends of justice, it is imperative that a hold departure order be issued to prevent accused from leaving the country during the pendency of the instant case,” the court added.
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla earlier said Bantag has expressed intent to surrender.
- with reports from Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News