FORMER Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag, the alleged mastermind in the Percival “Percty Lapid” Mabasa murder case and now considered a fugitive from justice, is now the subject of an immigration hold departure order (HDO), according to the Department of Justice (DoJ).
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said that Bantag and his co-accused former BuCor jail officer Ricardo Zulueta, were still in the country and currently being tracked by operatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
“A hold departure order is immediately sent to the Bureau of Immigration after the issuance of [a] warrant of arrest,” said Remulla.
“They [Bantag and Zulueta] are still here in the country,” he said, adding that the government has the means to track their whereabouts.
Remulla said no timeline has been set for the duo's arrest but “they're top on the list.”
Remulla said Bantag's arrest, as a matter of protocol which includes the handling of suspects, is now in the hands of law enforcement agencies like the PNP and the NBI.
The arrest warrant against Bantag and Zulueta, dated April 12, 2023, was issued by Muntinlupa RTC Branch 206 Presiding Judge Gener M. Gito in connection with the ambush-slay Lapid and alleged middleman Jun Villamor, who was said to have been suffocated to death inside his cell at the National Bilibid Prison
No bail was recommended for Bantag and Zulueta.
Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net