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Bantag denies receiving subpoena from DOJ

November 17, 2022 Hector Lawas 219 views

SUSPENDED Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag on Thursday claimed he has yet to receive the Justice Department (DOJ) subpoena requring him to answer the murder complaints in connection with the deaths of broadcaster Percy Lapid and middleman Jun Villamor.

“Wala pa ako’ng natatanggap. Sabi nila doon deemed served,” Bantag said in GMA Network’s Dobol B TV.

“Pero sabi naman ng barangay chairman doon na ever since na matanggap ko yung BuCor hindi na ako umuuwi doon dahil malayo. So wala din silang iniwan doon na subpoena,” he continued.

Just recently, DOJ process servers delivered the subpoena to Bantag’s last known address in Caloocan City.

Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Charlie Guhit, one of the prosecutors tasked to conduct preliminary investigation into the cases filed against Bantag, deputy security officer Ricardo Zulueta, and several others, said the subpoena was “deemed served.”

“Based on our records, the NBI and PNP only provided the last known address of DG Bantag in Caloocan. The subpoena, insofar as the prosecution is concerned, is deemed served,” Guhit said.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Philippine National Police (PNP) have filed two murder complaints against Bantag and several others that included gang leaders, in connection with the two murders.

Digging not for escape route

Meanwhile, Bantag denied in the same interview that the digging inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City was meant to become a tunnel for escape.

Bantag, who was replaced by former Armed Forces chief of staff Gregorio Catapang Jr., disclosed that the excavation was to build a deep swimming pool to train BuCor personnel in scuba diving.

“Walang tunnel doon. Pero tutoong may hukay doon. Pinapagawan ko yan ng scuba diving pool, ” the tough-talking Bantag said, adding the pool was intended to train personnel for disaster preparedness.

Last week, Catapang, the acting BuCor chief, disclosed that they found a hole and tunnel in NBP.

According to Catapang, the hole was 200 meters wide, and 30 meters deep.

Catapang replaced Bantag over the mystery-shrouded death of the middleman in the Percy Lapid slay