DOJ serves subpoena vs Bantag over Percy Lapid murder

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 15 2022 12:44 PM

Bureau of Corrections Director General Gerald Bantag talks to the media after an “Oplan Galugad” operation inside the Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong City on March 4, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File
Bureau of Corrections Director General Gerald Bantag talks to the media after an “Oplan Galugad” operation inside the Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong City on March 4, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — The Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued a subpoena for suspended prisons bureau chief Gerald Bantag in connection to the murder of broadcaster Percival "Percy Lapid" Mabasa. 

In the subpoena dated Nov. 14, the DOJ ordered Bantag to appear in its preliminary investigation hearings on Nov. 23 and Dec. 5.

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News
Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

The subpoena was served in Bantag's last known address in Caloocan City, said Senior State Assistant Prosecutor Charlie Guhit.

But Guhit noted that Bantag had no longer been staying there since his appointment as Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) director general. 

"Based on our records, the NBI and PNP only provided the last known address of DG Bantag in Caloocan. The subpoena, insofar as the prosecution is concerned, is deemed served," Guhit said.

The senior prosecutor also said that they had "no information" about Bantag's supposed new address in Baguio City.

"The NBI and PNP should inform the panel of prosecutors by way of manifestation or appropriate pleading about the new address of DG Bantag before we issue another subpoena to DG Bantag," he said.

State prosecutors recently said they would subpoena Bantag for him to answer allegations that he was the supposed mastermind behind Mabasa's murder last October. 

But Bantag, who said he had nothing to do with the killing, maintained that he would only cooperate if Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin "Boying" Remulla resigned from his post.

Mabasa's family, through the slain broadcaster's brother Roy, had also urged Bantag to come out in the open and clear his name.

"Si Ginoong Bantag lumabas ilang linggo ang nakaraan. Sinasabi niya wala siyang kasalanan... Kung wala siyang kasalanan, sino pala ang may kasalanan?" Mabasa told ANC. 

"Baka naman gusto niyang lumabas ngayon at magsabi kung sino talaga ang [may kasalanan]. Baka may nag-utos sa kaniya?" he said.

(Mr. Mabasa surfaced a few weeks ago. He said he had nothing to do with the killing. So who is at fault? Perhaps he wants to come out know and reveal this. Maybe someone else gave him the order?) 

— With a report from Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

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