By Junex Doronio
MANILA — Maintaining his innocence in the October 3 dastardly slaying of hard-hitting broadcaster/vlogger Percy Lapid, suspended Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag is not in hiding.
This was stressed on Friday, November 11, by Bantag’s lawyer Rocky Thomas Balisong who vowed that his client will appear in public “in due time.”
In an “ambush” interview at the Department of Justice (DOJ), Balisong pointed out that the beleaguered BuCor head is under no obligation to show himself in public.
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 blurted out in Anthony Taverna’s vlog.
Friends and relatives of Bantag reportedly held a gathering in Baguio City to call for a “clean and fair investigation” into the killing of Lapid.
Apparently not satisfied with the statement of Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla that the probe on Percy Lapid is over, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has ordered the continuation of the investigation.
“Hangga’t may natitira pong porsyento sa ginagawa ng NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) at PNP (Philippine National Police) ay hindi po kami titigil. In fact, natuwa nga po kami, kaninang umaga… mismong si Pangulong Marcos ang nagsabi na hindi pa ititigil ang imbestigasyon,” Percy’s brother former National Press Club (NPC) president Roy Mabasa said.
Bantag has been subject to criticism by Lapid — whose real name was Percival Mabasa — on his radio program Lapid Fire.
On Thursday, November 10, Remulla also shot down the idea of considering Bantag as a “state witness” in the Percy “Percival Mabasa” Lapid murder case.
He explained that Bantag, who was tagged as the alleged “mastermind,” does not fit the main criteria of being the “least guilty.” (ai/mtvn)