The Department of Justice is amenable to giving special arrangements for former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag and former deputy officer Ricardo Zulueta, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said Tuesday.
In an ambush interview, Remulla said Bantag had sent two feelers, one through a Cabinet official and another through a law enforcement officer.
“But it looks like they’re not really serious in surrendering. But one of the topics that we discussed was place of detention. And we’re amenable to special arrangements for DG Bantag and Mr. Zulueta if that is a problem with them,” he said.
The Justice secretary said the two former officials, who are being pointed to as the masterminds behind the killing of Percy Lapid and alleged middleman Jun Villamor, are trying to avoid being placed in a BuCor facility.
"Hindi naman. I think they’re trying to avoid being put into BuCor, in any BuCor facility," he said.
Remulla previously said Bantag expressed his wish to surrender after calling a Cabinet official in April.
He said the second feeler was sent through a law enforcement officer six days ago.
The Muntinlupa and Las Piñas regional trial courts recently issued warrants of arrest against Bantag and Zulueta for the deaths of alleged middleman Jun Villamor and Lapid, respectively.
Lapid was shot dead in Las Piñas City on October 3, 2022, while Villamor died at the New Bilibid Prison on October 18, 2022.
An autopsy by forensic pathologist Dr. Raquel Fortun showed the remains of Villamor to have a “history of asphyxia by plastic bag suffocation.”—AOL, GMA Integrated News