DOJ, NBI file murder raps vs. Bantag, others over Percy Lapid killing

DOJ, NBI file murder raps vs. Bantag, others over Percy Lapid killing

By Junex Doronio
November 7, 2022

Former BuCor chief Gerald Bantag

MANILA — Finally unmasking the alleged masterminds in the dastardly slaying of hard-hitting broadcaster and Hataw tabloid columnist Percy Lapid, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Monday filed a murder complaint against suspended Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag and others.

Joel Escorial, who surrendered and confessed to authorities that he was the gunman after the announcement of the P6.5 million bounty, earlier claimed that a certain “Bantag” had ordered the killing of Lapid.

On Monday, November 7, former National Press Club (NPC) president Roy Mabasa, the brother of the slain journalist, said he wants to make sure that there are no more personalities behind the alleged masterminds in the killing.

“I have to be very, very careful na tanggapin na humihinto diyan ‘yung kaso. Gusto ko pong masigurado na wala na bang nasa likod niyan. Kasi kung talagang wala na eh maliwag naman po sa puso naming tatangapin ‘yan,” Mabasa said in an interview with Super Radyo dzBB.

Percy Lapid was the nom de guerre or pen name of Percival Mabasa whose ambush-killing last Oct. 3 even caught international attention.

Bantag — who was heavily criticized by Percy Lapid in his radio broadcasts when he was still alive — was also among the 160 personalities (POI) considered being persons of interest by the police.

Last week, Bantag had strongly denied having a hand in the Percy Lapid killing and vowed that he said that he would rather die than go to jail.

“’Pag nandoon na ako, hindi mo na ako makikita sigurado doon. Tatadtarin ako nang pino doon.Ipapahintulot ko bang makulong ako? Patayin na lang ninyo ako, kasi alam ko mangyayari sa akin. Magpapatayan na lang kami ng gobyernong ito,” Bantag said in Anthony Taverna’s vlog.

For his part, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla expressed the belief that the filing of murder against Bantag and others will finally resolve the issue.

“A case has been filed with the prosecutors and from then we will proceed with the case proper and hopefully this issue will be laid to rest the way it should be,” Remulla said in a press conference.

In October, Bantag was preventively suspended after the death of alleged middleman Jun Villamor, also known as Cristito Villamor Palaña, while incarcerated at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) on the same day, October 18, that Escorial confessed to being the triggerman. (ai/mtvn)

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