Arrest of ex-BuCor chief Bantag a matter of time, needs patience – DOJ

DOJ: Be patient in Bantag manhunt

Former Bureau of Corrections Director General Gerald Bantag ( INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE)

MANILA, Philippines — The Department ofJustice (DOJ) on Thursday asked for patience in the manhunt for former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief turned fugitive Gerald Bantag.

DOJ Spokesperson Mico Clavano, in a Palace briefing, said that authorities are still searching for Bantag, more than a year since the Philippine National Police declared him a fugitive. 

“We have a general idea already of his whereabouts so it’s just a matter of time. Again with these things, we just have to stay patient – these things don’t happen overnight. The wheels of justice, they grind slowly but they grind very finely so we just have to stay patient,” said Clavano.

The former BuCor chief is the alleged mastermind in the killing of broadcast journalist Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa, who was slain in October 2022.

In March 2023, a DOJ panel of prosecutors indicted Bantag over Mabasa’s killing.

Bantag has also been charged with criminal complaints over the death of inmate Hegel Lapinig Samson.

Earlier this month, the National Bureau of Investigation was unable to find Bantag in two house raids.