Bantag dares Remulla to resign: ‘You’ve lost your credibility’
MANILA, Philippines — Suspended Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Gerald Bantag on Friday issued a counter-challenge to Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla: step down.
For Bantag, the chief of the Department of Justice (DOJ) has already lost his credibility, most notably after the arrest of Remulla’s son, Juanito III, for drugs.
Juanito Remulla III was collared last October 11 following a “controlled delivery operation” in which he was found to possess around a kilogram of kush – high-grade marijuana – approximately valued at more than P1.3 million.
“Mag-step down ka, ‘yan ang challenge ko. Wala ka na raw credibility. Wala ka nang moral ascendancy sa puwesto mo. Bakit? Sabi nila. Bakit? Dahil sa anak mo,” Bantag said.
(Step down. That’s my challenge. They say you no longer have credibility. You no longer have moral ascendency. Why? Because of your son.)
Bantag then accused Remulla of conditioning the public to wrongly hold him responsible for the killing of broadcaster Percy Lapid (real name: Percival Mabasa).
“Step down, Mr. Secretary, dahil wala na kayo crediblity. Alam ng tao ang ginagawa ninyo, kinukundsiyon ninyo ang isip ng tao para ituro ako, ako, ako,” Bantag said in an exclusive SMNI interview.
(Step down, Mr. Secretary, you no longer have credibility. The people know what you are doing, you are conditioning the minds of the people to pin the blame on me, me, me.)
The beleaguered BuCor official showed up in an interview on television on Friday to answer Remulla’s earlier dare for him to face like a man the murder complaints filed against him over the death of Lapid and supposed middleman Cristito Palaña (formerly identified by authorities as Jun or Crisanto Villamor).
The murder complaints filed on November 7 before the DOJ’s Office of the Prosecutor General against Bantag and the others accuse him of giving the order to kill Lapid and Palaña.
INQUIRER.net contacted DOJ chief Remulla for his comment on Bantag’s challenge. No response from him has been received as of this writing.
Earlier, Remulla had said that he will not step down as DOJ Secretary over his son’s drug case. He also vowed not to intervene in his son’s case. Even President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. had rejected calls for Remulla’s resignation.