Bantag’s lawyer receives suspended BuCor chief's subpoena over Percy Lapid case
The camp of suspended Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag on Monday accepted his subpoena concerning the deaths of broadcaster Percy Lapid and alleged middleman Jun Villamor.
Atty. Rocky Balisong, Bantag’s lawyer, accepted the subpoena at the Department of Justice (DOJ).
“Nakita naman natin, ni-receive na namin ang subpoena. ‘Yung subpoena for our client, General Gerald Bantag,” Atty. Rocky Balisong said in an ambush interview.
(We saw and just received the subpoena for our client, General Gerald Bantag.)
Bantag, who was pointed as one of the alleged masterminds behind the killing of Lapid and Villamor, is facing two murder complaints.
The hearing on the case is set on Wednesday, November 23.
Balisong said they will see if Bantag is allowed to miss the hearing.
“Yeah, puwede. Depende kasi sa mangyayari sa Wednesday. Kung magsa-submit kami ng counter affidavit and the panel requires that it should be subscribed before them then isasama namin siya,” he said.
(Yeah, it’s allowed. It depends on what will happen on Wednesday. If we will submit the counter affidavit and the panel requires that it should be subscribed before them, then he will go with us.)
“Pero titignan namin kung pwede naman na ipa-subscribe sa other prosecutors… Siguro hindi na kailangan isama,” he added.
(But we will see if it can be subscribed before other prosecutors… Maybe he doesn’t have to come with us.)
According to Balisong, Bantag is “very ready” to face the investigation.
Meanwhile, when asked about the supposed serving of the subpoena in Caloocan, Balisong said there was no such subpoena.
Senior assistant state prosecutor Charlie Guhit previously said a subpoena has been deemed served to Bantag in Caloocan City. It was the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) who provided Bantag’s address in Caloocan, Guhit said.
“Oo, sabi kasi nila they’ll serve ‘yung subpoena sa Caloocan. Kaya chineck namin ‘yung sinerve na subpoena. So as far as we’re concerned, there is no such subpoena which has been served to our client in Caloocan,” he said.
(Yes because they said they'll serve the subpoena in Caloocan. That is why we checked the subpoena served.)
Meanwhile, Balisong said Bantag had wanted to go with him.
“Yes, gustong gusto niya. Kahapon gustong gusto niya sumama. At we told him kahit hindi na kasi kukunin lang namin ang subpoena. We are armed with the special power of attorney naman,” Balisong said.
(Yes, he really wanted to come with us. Yesterday he really wanted to go. And we told him that he need not go with us since we would get the subpoena. We are armed with the special power of attorney.)
Lapid was shot dead in Las Piñas City on October 3 while Villamor died at the New Bilibid Prison which is being managed by the BuCor. An autopsy by forensic pathologist Dr. Raquel Fortin showed the remains of Villamor to have a “history of asphyxia by plastic bag suffocation.”
Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said he received information about BuCor Senior Superintendent Ricardo Zulueta’s location last week.
Murder complaints were also filed against Zulueta and other persons deprived of liberty in relation to the killings of Lapid and Villamor.
“I had information a week ago on where he was at least. May nagsabi lang sa sources natin,” Remulla said in a press conference.
(I had information a week ago on where he was, at least. Someone told our sources.) —KG, GMA Integrated News