November 28, 2022

UNLESS there are other pieces of evidence that would surface, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said on Tuesday they do not see anyone else involved in the murder of veteran radio broadcaster Percival Mabasa, popularly known as Percy Lapid, and urges the suspects to surrender and face the charges.

“This is where the investigation begins and ends,” Remulla said referring to the the filing of charges against suspended Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Gerald Bantag and others in connection Lapid’s killing.

Nevertheless, the Justice chief said state prosecutors still have “people to talk to and certain things to obtain that are still in the custody of the courts.”

“We are also still finishing reports from the AMLC (Anti-Money Laundering Council) that are being finalized to make it official because we only got a preliminary report,” said Remulla. “Those details are important to really prove that there is a criminal enterprise within the NBP.”

Double murder charges were filed on Monday against Bantag, Senior Jail Officer 2 and former BuCor deputy security officer Ricardo Zulueta, and several persons deprived of liberty in connection with the killing of Lapid and Cristito Villamor Palaña, the alleged middleman who died inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

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Remulla has urged Bantag and Zulueta to surrender

“I’d like to ask Zulueta and Bantag to surrender and face the charges. If they are innocent, the law will uphold them. If they are guilty then they would have to face the consequences,” he said.

Remulla added that he has ordered a lookout bulletin against the two former BuCor officials.

He said no arrest warrants have been issued against Bantag and Zulueta.

“We will ask them to respond to the charges, if they fail to do so this is an indication of guilt,” said Remulla.