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Zulueta files counter-affidavit in Percy Lapid slay case

Former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) deputy security officer Ricardo Zulueta has filed his counter-affidavit denying his involvement in the killing of broadcaster Percy Lapid and inmate and alleged middleman Jun Villamor.

In his five-page affidavit filed on February 15, Zulueta said he did not receive any order from suspended BuCor director general Gerald Bantag to commit any crime.

"Finally, DG Bantag never ordered me to commit or facilitate the commission of a crime on his behalf," he said.

Zulueta and Bantag were tagged as masterminds in the killing of Lapid and Villamor. Both are facing two complaints for murder.

In his affidavit, Zulueta also denied the claim of inmate Aldrin Galicia, who is one of the respondents in the complaints, linking him to the crime.

According to Galicia's sworn statement, Zulueta called him and Alfie Penaredonda to his office on the second week of September 2022 to inform them of orders from "tanda (old man)," supposedly referring to Bantag.

"This is false and it never happened," Zulueta said, adding that CCTV footage in the area would prove his claim.

He also said he has never described Bantag as "tanda."

"Whenever I describe DG Gerald Bantag to others, I used only two words to describe or refer to him: 'Sir DG' or 'Director'," Zulueta said.

He also denied discussing with Alvin Labra, another respondent, the price of killing Lapid. He described Labra's claim as a "blatant lie."

According to Zulueta, the inmates were conspiring against him and Bantag because they were affected by the changed he and Bantag implemented in the BuCor.

Atty. Lauro Gacayan, Zulueta’s legal counsel, said earlier said they filed the counter-affidavit through a courier.

"Yes, we have filed already though the DOJ (Department of Justice) failed to give him (Zulueta) a copy of the entire complaint with affidavits of witnesses," Gacayan said.

Zulueta's camp did not file his counter-affidavit during the last hearing of the case on February 8, saying they had just requested copies of supporting documents then.

"That is [the] fault of [the] DOJ. They failed to give a copy of [the] complaints [with] affidavits of witnesses. Only a 1-page subpoena which they repeated in [the] new case," Gacayan had said.

Lapid was shot dead in Las Piñas City on October 3 while Villamor died at the New Bilibid Prison.

An autopsy by noted forensic pathologist Dr. Raquel Fortun showed the remains of Villamor to have a "history of asphyxia by plastic bag suffocation."

Bantag has denied involvement in the killings. —Joahna Lei Casilao/KBK, GMA Integrated News