Bantag to Remulla: I will not surrender until you resign
MANILA, Philippines — Suspended Bureau of Corrections director general Gerald Bantag on Monday said he would not surrender until Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla steps down from his post.
Bantag was alleged to be involved in the killings of radioman Percival Mabasa, also known as Percy Lapid, and the supposed middleman of the murder plan.
“Definitely haharapin ko ito kasama ng aking mga supporters [Definitely I will face this, together with my supporters],” Bantag said over CNN Philippines when asked if he will face this ordeal head on.
“Pero kung hindi tumalima si Boying, si [Secretary of Justice], na mag-step down, ay hindi ako susuko kung may warrant ako. Bakit ako susuko, e di niluto na naman nila ako? Pero pag wala si Boying, yan pwede na ako sumuko,” he also said.
(But if Boying did not agree to step down, I will not surrender once my warrant arrives. Why would I surrender? They will just set me up. Once Boying is gone, then that is time I would surrender.)
Bantag first dared Remulla to resign on Friday, saying he had lost his credibility after the arrest of his son, Juanito III, for kush or high-grade marijuana possession.
However, Remulla previously said that he would not step down as Justice Department chief as President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier rejected calls for his resignation.
It can be recalled that Remulla said Lapid’s expose may have prompted Bantag to allegedly order the killing of the broadcaster.
Lapid was ambushed and killed near his neighborhood in Las Piñas City on October 3. His death sparked widespread condemnation and a high-profile investigation.
Joel Escorial surrendered and was presented to the media on October 18, the same day Cristito Palaña, formerly identified by authorities as Jun or Crisanto Villamor, was reported dead inside the New Bilibid Prison.
Complaints were filed Monday, November 7, against Bantag and other personalities implicated in the murder of Lapid before the DOJ-Office of the Prosecutor General.
Bantag is being accused of giving the order to kill Lapid and Palaña.
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