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Rewards offered for info on Bantag, Zulueta

By JOAHNA LEI CASILAO,GMA Integrated News

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is offering a P3 million cash reward to anyone who can provide information on former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag and former deputy officer Ricardo Zulueta.

In an ambush interview, DOJ spokesperson Assistant Secretary Mico Clavano said the DOJ and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) are offering P2 million for any individual who can give credible information that will lead to the arrest and successful prosecution of Bantag.

Meanwhile, another P1 million is being offered to anyone who can give information that will lead to the arrest and successful prosecution of Zulueta.

Bantag and Zulueta are the alleged masterminds in the killing of broadcaster Percy Lapid and alleged middleman Jun Villamor.

“It is crucial that these individuals are brought to justice and held accountable for their alleged actions. Your cooperation can make a significant difference in ensuring the swift apprehension of Bantag and Zulueta and providing closure to the families of the victims,” Clavano said.

“We assure the public that all information provided will be treated with the strictest confidentiality in accordance with the law,” he added.

According to Clavano, individuals who may wish to share information may reach out through 0945 831 058 and 0928 416 9585.

 

 

Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said they are now offering a reward because Bantag has not surrendered.

“We want the law enforcement people and everybody else to be more aggressive in helping the department get hold of the suspects in the killing of Percy Lapid,” Remulla said.

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“Gusto natin palawakin ... gusto natin palawakin [ang intelligence]. (We want to widen our intelligence.) At saka, sometimes it takes a little more persuasive power of a reward to make people rise from their slumber,” he said.

According to Remulla, the cash reward will be taken from a fund at the Department of Justice.

The Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court Branch 206 and Las Piñas Regional Trial Court Branch 254 have issued warrants of arrest against the two for the deaths of Lapid and VIllamor, respectively.

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

Lapid was shot dead by two suspects onboard a motorcycle in Barangay Talon Dos.

The broadcaster, whose real name was Percival Mabasa, was the host of the online broadcast program "Percy Lapid Fire" at DWBL 1242 and a columnist for Hataw.

Remulla earlier said Villamor's death inside the NBP wasn't due to natural causes.

"It's not very easy to accept that things can go wrong that way but ganyan po 'yun. We call a spade a spade... This is a sworn statement. We're not talking about kwento," Remulla said.

An autopsy by forensic pathologist Dr. Raquel Fortun showed the remains of Villamor to have a “history of asphyxia by plastic bag suffocation.”  — RSJ/NB/KBK, GMA Integrated News