DOJ wants contempt case vs vloggers for interviewing fugitive ex-BuCor chief
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) will ask local courts to cite in contempt three vloggers (video bloggers) for posting an interview with fugitive former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag, who is wanted for the killing of broadcaster Percival Mabasa or “Percy Lapid.”
The Muntinlupa and Las Piñas Regional Trial Courts issued a warrant of arrest against Bantag for the death of Lapid and Bilibid inmate Cristito Palana Villamor or Jun Villamor.
Villamor was the one who managed to tap the services of confessed hitman Joel Escorial to kill Lapid.
“Siya (Bantag) po ay na-interview ng ilang vloggers. Bawal po yan,” Remulla told reporters Monday.
[He was interviewed by vloggers, this is not allowed.]
Remulla said the vloggers are undermining the courts and the legal processes.
“Binabastos nila ang korte. Wanted na ito, may court order na for their arrest,” he said.
[You are disrespecting the court, which already issued an order for their arrest.]
Under the law, Remulla said even ordinary citizens can arrest or at least report to the police any information about a wanted person.
“Pag ito ay tinulungan mo, parang sinaway mo ang korte,” he said.
[If you help a wanted person, you are defying the court.]
Bantag and former BuCor deputy security officer Ricardo Zulueta are facing murder charges before the Muntinlupa and Las Piñas regional trial courts for the death of Lapid and Villamor.
Lapid was shot by armed men while on his way home in Las Piñas on Oct. 3, 2022.
Villamor, on the other hand, was found dead after he was identified by Escorial as the one who hired him to kill Lapid.