Wanted ex-prisons chief Bantag 'somewhere in the north' – Remulla

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 2) — Former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag is supposedly hiding "somewhere in the north" after a court ordered his arrest, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla claimed on Friday.

"[T]here's a barangay given to me but that's ok, let's not get there…we're asking the police and the NBI [National Bureau of Investigation] to prioritize his arrest and of course, [Ricardo] Zulueta," Remulla told reporters.

A Las Piñas court last month ordered the arrest of Bantag and four others over the killing of radio broadcaster Percival "Percy Lapid" Mabasa.

READ: Court orders arrest of ex-BuCor chief Bantag, 4 others for murder of Percy Lapid

The justice secretary said he does not know if Bantag and his deputy Ricardo Zulueta are in the same location.

According to Remulla, there is a growing urgency to capture Bantag. "Mag-uumpisa na kasi yung trial eh ng case niya [The trial of his case is about to start]," he said.

"You will find out next week what other things we may have about Bantag," the secretary added.