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Hold departure order vs. Bantag, Zulueta issued by Muntinlupa court

A Muntinlupa City court has issued a hold departure order (HDO) against former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag and former BuCor deputy officer Ricardo Zulueta.

The order was issued upon the request of state prosecutors to prevent them from leaving the country during the pendency of the case involving the murder of Jun Villamor, the alleged middleman in the killing of broadcaster Percy Lapid.

Judge Gener Gito of the Muntinlupa City RTC Branch 206 signed the HDO.

Separate warrants of arrest were earlier issued by the Muntinlupa court and the Las Piñas City Regional Trial Court Branch 254 for Bantag and Zulueta in connection with the killings of Villamor and Lapid, respectively. 

Lapid was shot dead in Las Piñas on October 3, 2022, while Villamor died at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa on October 18.

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

Bantag earlier denied the allegations against him, saying they were fabricated. —VBL, GMA Integrated News