Jail official in Percy Lapid slay case dies of heart failure

Jail exec in Percy Lapid slay case dies of heart failure

By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 05:34 AM March 17, 2024


BUCOR Supt. Ricardo Zulueta—BUCOR PHOTO

Jail Senior Supt. Ricardo Zulueta, one of the suspects in the 2022 killing of radio broadcaster Percival Mabasa, better known as Percy Lapid, died on Friday, according to the Philippine National Police.

Zulueta was a former deputy of former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag. Both of them were among the 17 individuals who were indicted by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in March 2023 for Lapid’s murder on Oct. 3, 2022, and the later murder of confessed accomplice Jun Villamor.


A PNP report on Saturday said Zulueta, 42, died on Friday night due to heart failure at the Bataan Peninsula Medical Center in Dinalupihan town.


The police said Zulueta was rushed to the hospital by his brother Ronald but was declared dead by Dr. Jollybenson Alami at 11 p.m.

His remains were brought to the Holy Life Funeral Services in Barangay New San Jose in Dinalupihan and was later transferred to Barangay Mabiga in Hermosa.

After learning of the PNP report, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla directed the National Bureau of Investigation to definitively investigate the authenticity of Zulueta’s supposed death.

“Exert greater efforts, act swiftly, delve deep and uncover the truth by all means possible. This calls for action the soonest possible time,” Remulla said, adding that the the DOJ had yet to receive a formal report of the death.

Hearing postponed

“We are still looking into the veracity of these reports and will update the public as soon as we receive word from the NBI,” Remulla said.

Before Zulueta’s death was announced, Lapid’s brother Roy Mabasa said that the hearing of the case, originally set for March 18, was suspended at the request of prosecutors.


“I was informed by the Las Piñas Clerk of Court that the hearing for [killing of] @lapidfire vs Gerald Bantag, et al. set on March 18, 2024, has been postponed AGAIN upon the request of the State Prosecutors,” Mabasa said on X (formerly Twitter).Zulueta and Bantag were charged with two counts of murder for the killing of Lapid and alleged middleman Jun Villamor, who was strangled to death at New Bilibid Prison while the case was being investigated.

READ: A defendant in the Percy Lapid murder case dies – PNP

They also found probable cause to indict confessed gunman Joel Escorial, Israel Dimaculangan, Edmon Dimaculangan, and a certain Orlando for murder as principals by direct participation.

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He identified the Dimaculangan brothers and Orlando as his accomplices.

TAGS: jail officer, Percy Lapid

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