Prosecutors wrap up probe on murder raps vs Bantag
MANILA, Philippines–The investigation into the murder complaints against suspended Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Gerald Bantag and several other respondents is now up for resolution.
“In today’s (Feb. 8) hearing, the panel informed all parties that the cases are now submitted for resolution,” Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Charlie L. Guhit, a member of the panel conducting the preliminary investigation of the murder complaints, said in a press briefer.
Bantag is facing two murder complaints for the death of broadcaster Percival Mabasa or Percy Lapid and Bilibid inmate Jun Villamor, who allegedly had contact with confessed gunman Joel Escorial.
Guhit said Bantag has submitted his counter-affidavit “ex abundanti ad cautelam” (out of an abundance of caution).
Meanwhile, other respondents who are persons deprived of liberty have opted to adopt their sworn statements as their counter-affidavits.
Another respondent, Christopher Bacoto an inmate from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) already submitted his affidavit during the previous hearing while brothers brothers Edmon Dimaculangan and Israel Dimaculangan never showed up or sent a representative.
On behalf of BuCor Deputy Security Officer Ricardo Zulueta, Atty. Julieta Puday appeared and asked for copies of the complaint.
Bantag’s lawyer, Rocky Balisong said the affidavit they filed is ‘ad cautelam “because we are not abandoning our original stand of continuing to question the jurisdiction of the panel and the whole DOJ.”
“In other words, this will not be treated as abandoning our motion for inhibition because we’ll still push with it before the proper authorities,” he also said as he stressed his allegation that the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) has jurisdiction to conduct the preliminary investigation.
Bantag wants DOJ to stay out of the case, cries ‘bad blood’ with Remulla, lack of jurisdiction
DOJ prosecutors tosses out Bantag’s motion for inhibition in Mabasa murder case
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