Bantag files motion to reconsider plea for DOJ to inhibit from murder raps

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 24) — Suspended Bureau of Corrections chief Gerald Bantag still refused to answer the allegations against him in connection with the murders of radio broadcaster Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa and Bilibid inmate Jun Villamor.

Instead of submitting his counter-affidavit, Bantag on Tuesday filed a motion to reconsider the rejection of his plea to inhibit the panel of prosecutors of the Department of Justice (DOJ) from handling the case.

Bantag wants to move his case from the DOJ, and let the Office of the Ombudsman handle the investigation.

His lawyer, Rocky Balisong, firmly denied delaying the proceedings.

“No, of course it’s not, because this is part of the process. Anybody who feels that the decision has to be reconsidered has the right to file the same within a period of 10 days,” he explained.

Balisong claims that since his client had a pending murder complaint against Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla before the Ombudsman, the two cases should have been consolidated.

READ: Bantag files murder, misconduct complaints vs Remulla, others before Ombudsman

“It should be brought to the Office of the Ombudsman whose impartiality has not been questioned by any of the parties,” he said.

For the brother of the murdered radio broadcaster, Bantag’s motion for reconsideration offers no fresh information.

“It’s just a mere reiteration of the previous petition na ifinile nila yung motion to transfer at saka yung motion to dismiss [It's just a mere reiteration of the previous petition that they filed — the motion to transfer and the motion to dismiss],” Roy Mabasa said.

Should Villamor’s sister file a comment on Bantag’s motion, Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Charlie Guhit explained another hearing will be scheduled on Jan. 31.

Meanwhile, the Mabasa family and the Philippine National Police maintained they’re no longer filing any comment.