Remulla dares Bantag, Zulueta: Face murder complaints like a man
MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla has dared suspended Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Gerald Bantag and BuCor Deputy Security Officer Ricardo Zulueta to face the murder complaints filed against them “like a man.”
In an ambush interview Wednesday, Remulla decried Bantag’s media appearances and urged him to file his rebuttal affidavit in accordance with the law and confront the charges head-on.
Bantag and Zulueta were named as respondents in the murder complaints filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) in relation to the assassination of radioman Percy Lapid (real name: Percival Mabasa) and an alleged middleman who was an inmate in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) who reportedly died at the penitentiary’s hospital.
“Sumagot sila ng counter affidavit, huwag sila sa media sasagot. Mag-counter affidavit sila, ‘yan ang proseso ng batas natin eh, ‘di ba? Igalang nila ang batas, alagad sila ng batas eh tapos ganyan sila magsalita. Walang drama-drama. Face it like a man, ‘di ba? Kundi ka lalake, kundi ka mag-face it, then what are you? Face it!” Remulla said.
(They should answer through counter affidavits and not through media. They should file their counter affidavits as it is the process in our law, right? They should respect the law since they are agents of the law than talk like that. No drama. Face it like a man, right? If you’re not a man if you’re not going to face it, then what are you? Face it!)
Bantag prefers murder to jail
Following Bantag’s multiple radio appearances in which he maintained his innocence, the DOJ head made his comments. In one of these interviews, Bantag preferred death over incarceration.
Remulla also said that he believes Bantag and Zulueta are still in the country.
“I will say so, because remember they are government officials? Hindi ka pwedeng umalis ng Pilipinas kung wala kang travel authority. Unless they secured passports that did not reflect their true profession,” he noted.
The information was backed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) supervising agent Eugene Javier, who told ANC on Wednesday that they have information indicating that Bantag and Zulueta are still in the Philippines. However, the NBI is not looking for these two since warrants for their arrests are yet to be issued.
“Unless and until we are in possession of a warrant of arrest, we cannot arrest them or take them into custody. What’s going to happen is they should participate in the preliminary investigation conducted by the prosecutor,” explained Javier. With video report from Chona Yu, Radyo Inquirer