December 2, 2022

SUSPENDED Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag surfaced on Friday and said that a convicted drug lord could be behind the killing of broadcaster Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa.

Bantag alleged that self-confessed gunman Joel Escorial and Cristito Villamor Palana, the supposed middleman in the killing of the broadcaster, have direct connections with German Agojo, a convicted drug dealer who has been serving a life sentence since 2002.

He was also tagged in the 2004 killing of Batangas Regional Trial Court Judge Voltaire Rosales, who convicted him of selling shabu in 1999.

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“Attention Lapid family, yung pumatay po kay Percy Lapid ay tauhan nitong Agojo na pinakuha ni [Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin] Boying Remulla sa NBI. Ano papel niya sa buhay? Tauhan niya yung pumatay na si Escorial at yung kaibigan niya na si Villamor (Attention Lapid family, the one who killed Percy Lapid was a henchman of Agojo who who was taken by the NBI upon the orders of [Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin] Boying Remulla. What was [Agojo’s] role? His crew is the killer of Escorial and his friend Villamor),” Bantag said in an interview with SMNI aired on Friday.

He said a drug syndicate could be behind Lapid’s killing.

“Narco-politics. That has been the case even then,” said Bantag, who accused Remulla of leading the move to discredit him.

Bantag echoed calls for Remulla to step down from his post amid the involvement of his eldest son in drugs.

He also expressed his belief that it was not Mabasa who took videos of his house in Laguna that was later used in the “Cinderella Man” episode of Percy’s “Lapid Fire” radio program. He said he was informed that the vehicles carrying the persons who took pictures of his house are connected to Remulla.

“You can actually see the set up. They want me removed from BuCor. They wanted to replace me as early as August 2022. I was already giving (Remulla) my resignation, but he turned it down. I did not understand then, now I understand why,” Bantag said.

“You are trying to condition the minds of the people that I was the one behind the killing of Lapid,” he added.