Muntinlupa City court bars Bantag, Zulueta from leaving PH
MANILA, Philippines — A Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court has issued a hold departure order (HDO) against former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag and his former deputy Sr. Supt. Ricardo Zulueta.
Any person subject to an HDO is not allowed to leave the country.
The court issued the HDO upon the request of government prosecutors.
Bantag and Zulueta are facing a case of murder before a Muntinlupa City court over the death of Bilibid inmate Jun Villamor, the alleged middleman in the ambush slaying of broadcaster Percival Mabasa or Percy Lapid.
“The issuance of the HDO is for the court to maintain the effectiveness of its jurisdiction over the person of the accused in this case. In the instant case, accused has not yet been arrested,” the court said.
“The offended party in any criminal proceeding is the People of the Philippines. It is to their best interest that criminal prosecutions run their course and proceed [with] finality without undue delay, with an accused holding himself amenable at all times to court orders and processes,” it added.
Aside from the Muntinlupa court, a Las Piñas City court also ordered the arrest of both Bantag and Zulueta for the death of Lapid.