Bantag: Remulla ordered drug lord to kill Percy Lapid
Suspended Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag has turned the tables on Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla, accusing him of masterminding the killing of radio commentator Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa through a “grand conspiracy.”
In a 15-page complaint filed on Wednesday in the Office of the Ombudsman, Bantag claimed that Remulla ordered German Agojo, a drug lord under BuCor’s custody who was detained at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, “to look for killer/killers to liquidate Percy Lapid.” He added that Agojo then got in touch with alleged middleman Cristito “Jun Villamor” Palaña who contacted Joel Escorial about killing Mabasa.
Aside from Remulla and Agojo, also named as respondents in the complaint were incumbent BuCor chief Gregorio Catapang Jr., and detainees Alfie Peñaredonda, Aldrin Galicia, Mario Alvarez and Alvin Labra.
Bantag charged Remulla with murder and administrative cases of grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and unbecoming of a public official.
“To prove the conspiracy, it is clear that Secretary Remulla and German Agojo know each other,” he said in his complaint, adding that Agojo had applied for parole and the justice secretary knew this.
Bantag cited that lead agencies investigating Mabasa’s murder had announced that there were 160 persons of interest, all of whom were “hit and attacked” in Mabasa’s radio program, “Lapid Fire.”
He recounted how Mabasa had criticized Remulla in his program on July 3, 2020, referring to the then Cavite representative as “Bonjing and other insulting and damaging descriptions.”
On Sept. 29, 2022, or four days before the journalist’s killing, Bantag said that Remulla was once again “hit and attacked” in the radio program, with Mabasa describing the justice secretary as the person “who will destroy the image of President Ferdinand Marcos and that President Marcos should know this.”
“It was because of these that Remulla was hurt and upset. This is his motive in ordering the killing of Percy Lapid,” Bantag said. He requested the Ombudsman to conduct an “in-depth investigation” into the killings of Mabasa and Palaña and also sought the preventive suspension of Remulla and Catapang.
Bantag, along with former BuCor Deputy Security Officer Ricardo Zulueta, and several others, were charged last year with murder over the deaths of Mabasa and Palaña. He earlier dared Remulla to resign, claiming there was a conspiracy to pin the deaths on him.
Murder raps filed vs Bantag, others linked to Percy Lapid slay
Bantag accuses Remulla of orchestrating Lapid’s murder, files raps
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