PNP disputes DOJ: Bantag was never a police officer | Inquirer News

PNP disputes DOJ: Bantag was never a police officer

By: - Reporter / @FArgosinoINQ
/ 11:53 AM June 21, 2023

Ex-BuCor chief Gerald Bantag has "never been a member" of the police force, the PNP says

FILE PHOTO: Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Gerald Bantag. INQUIRER FILES

MANILA, Philippines — Former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director Gerald Bantag has “never been a member” of the police force.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) made the statement Wednesday to contradict the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) claim.


READ: What makes Bantag’s arrest ‘a little bit tricky’? DOJ: police connections


According to the PNP, the beleaguered ex-corrections chief “used to be a BJMP (Bureau of Jail Management and Penology) officer before his appointment in BuCor” based on records.

DOJ clarifies statement a day later

On Tuesday, DOJ spokesperson Mico Clavano said that Bantag is a police officer with certain networks within the police, making his investigation and arrest complicated.

“The accused, as you may know, is also a police officer. He has certain networks within the police, which makes it a little bit tricky,” said Clavano.

However, Clavano clarified on Wednesday that Bantag’s police ties were due to his graduation from the Philippine National Police Academy.

Setting the record straight

“This is to set right some news articles that came out recently,” the PNP said.

“We want to emphasize that irrespective of one’s rank, stature, or source of commissionship of any officer; the police force will arrest any individual who has violated the law,” it added.


The PNP also noted that its Criminal Investigation and Detection Group tracker teams have been helping the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and other law enforcement agencies track down Bantag and his deputy, Ricardo Zulueta.

Bantag and Zulueta are facing two separate cases of murder for the death of Bilibid inmate Jun Villamor and broadcaster Percival Mabasa or Percy Lapid.

Last June 19, the DOJ and NBI offered a reward of P2 million and P1 million for the arrest of Bantag and Zulueta, respectively.


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TAGS: DoJ, Gerald Bantag, PNP‎

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