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AMLC confirmed P550K was deposited to account of gunman in Percy Lapid slay —Remulla

AMLC confirmed P550K was deposited to account of gunman in Percy Lapid slay —Remulla

The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) confirmed that P550,000 was indeed deposited to the account of self-confessed gunman Joel Escorial in the Percy Lapid killing, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said Saturday.

"Kahapon, yung report ng AMLC, nilabas din nila na 'yung sinabi ni gunman Escorial ay very accurate. Nandoon talaga 'yung P550,000 deposit within a certain amount of days," Remulla said in an interview on Dobol B TV.

(The [AMLC] revealed in its report yesterday that what gunman Escorial was saying is very accurate. The P550,000 deposit was there in a certain amount of days.)

Remulla said the P550,000 was deposited in tranches within a three-week period.

"Maraming deposit 'yan within a span of more than two weeks eh, within a three-week period. Parang ganu'n eh, within a 20-day period," he said.

(The money was deposited in several tranches within a span of more than two weeks, within a three-week period. It seems like that, within a 20-day period.)

Remulla said the AMLC report revealed that the money was deposited by different individuals.

"Iba-iba 'yan ('yung nag-deposit). Ipapaliwanag 'yan ng NBI sa Lunes kasi sila ang may alam ng mga detalye," Remulla added.

(The money was deposited by different individuals. The NBI will explain it on Monday because they know the details.)

"'Yan ang bago nating iimbestigahan because it sheds some light into the financial activities within," he said.

(That is what we will investigate because it sheds some light into the financial activities within.)

Lapid, whose real name is Percival Mabasa and host of online broadcast program "Percy Lapid Fire" at DWBL 1242 and columnist for Hataw, was shot dead while on his way home in Barangay Talon Dos, Las Piñas City, on October 3.

Escorial surrendered to authorities and confessed to being the gunman.

He also told police that he received P550,000 through bank transfer after killing Lapid, Southern Police District director Police Brigadier General Kirby Kraft earlier said.

Escorial also said the order to kill Lapid came from inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) and that someone from the national penitentiary contacted them to execute the killing.

He said the middleman was Cristito Villamor-Palaña or Jun Villamor, who died at the NBP within hours after Escorial mentioned his name to authorities.

Other possible co-accused

Remulla on Saturday said investigation is still ongoing to identify others who may have been involved in the plot to kill Lapid.

"Meron pa kaming sinisimot na may participation dito. Belated na ang kanilang pagiging co-accused kasi iimbestigahan pa rin," he said.

(We are still looking into others' possible participation in the plot. Their being co-accused is belated because investigation will continue.)

Remulla said the NBI will file a complaint on Monday against those who may have been involved in the slay plot.

'Will hold in court'

The justice secretary also said he believes what they have gathered as evidence will hold in court.

Asked if they have an airtight case, Remulla said, "It is not as perfect as you want it to be. It will hold in court I believe. The standards of reasonable doubt can be met."

"Tahi na 'yan (mga loose ends). Marami na tayong gusto pang malaman pero yung two cases, tahing-tahi na sila. Ang ano na lang, 'yung degree of criminal liability, diminished liability, tinitingnan natin ang mga anggulo," he added.

(Those [loose ends] have been tied. We still want to find out more but with regard to two cases, those [loose ends] have been tied. What is just being determined now are the degree of criminal liability, diminished liability, and we are looking at those angles.)

Asked about Escorial's supplemental affidavit saying that a certain "Bantag" ordered Lapid's killing, based on what he said Palaña told him, Remulla said: "Hindi ko pa alam. 'Di ko pa nababasa ang kanyang affidavit. I have no personal knowledge of that. I don't want to speculate."

(I do not know yet. I haven't read his affidavit.)

Escorial didn't say who this Bantag was but the director general of the Bureau of Corrections at that time was Gerald Bantag.

Remulla did not confirm if the former BuCor chief is included among those who will be named in the complaint NBI will file on Monday.

"That's up to the NBI. On Monday, malalaman niyo naman (you will find out)," he said.

Remulla however said at least two individuals who may be considered mastermind may be named in the complaint to be filed on Monday.

"Tingin ko kasama na [makakasuhan]. Dalawang mastermind ang tinitingnan. Maybe two of them would be considered mastermind," he said.

(I think they will be included [in the complaint]. Two masterminds are being considered.)

Remulla said he could not say what the possible motive for the killing is.

"Motive, I cannot surmise. Ang alam ko lang, 'yung nangyari talaga, 'yung kinuwento ng testigo. Doon lang tayo magba-base," he said.

(I cannot surmise the motive. What I only know is what really happened based on what the witnesses said. That's where we will base [the complaint].)

90 to 95% case closed

Remulla also said the case may be considered 90 to 95% closed.

"In terms of investigation, it is 90% to 95% (case) closed. It's just a matter of having more details brought in. Ito talaga, it was the product of good investigative work atsaka cooperative work of NBI and police," he said.

Remulla said there are still other matters to look into, "but as it is now, I think we can lay the matter to rest. Actually on the 30th day noong November 3, nagsarado lahat. Ando'n na lahat ng detalye."

(Actually on the 30th day on November 3, everything fell into place. All the details were there.) —KG, GMA Integrated News