DOJ indicts Bantag and Zulueta over Percy Lapid case



Suspended Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag and former deputy security officer Ricardo Zulueta was indicted by the Department of Justice’s Panel of Prosecutors, for two counts of murder over the killing of broadcaster Percy Lapid and alleged middleman Jun Villamor.

According to Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Charlie Guhit, the prosecutors had issued the resolution.

The panel found probable cause to indict Bantag and Zulueta as principals.

They also found probable cause to indict self-confessed gunman Joel Escorial, as well as Israel Dimaculangan, Edmon Dimaculangan, and a certain Orlando for murder.

They are tagged as principals by direct participation.

On the other hand, panel likewise indicted several persons deprived of liberty (PDLs). They were identified as Denver Mayores, Alvin Labra, Aldrin Galicia, Alfie Peñaredonda, and Christopher Bacoto.

They were tagged as principals by indispensable cooperation.

The National Bureau of Investigation earlier said that there was a clear line of communication from Bantag and Zulueta to Mayores, then Mayores to Labra, and Labra who coordinated with Galicia.

Galicia on the other hand orchestrated and executed the killing of Lapid through his gang members and his gang members’ contacts outside the NBP.

For the murder of Villamor, Bantag, Zulueta, Labra, and Galicia were indicted as principals by inducement.

PDLs Mario Alvarez, Joseph Georfo, Christian Ramac, Ricky Salgado, Ronnie Dela Cruz, Joel Reyes were also indicted as principals by direct participation.

Lapid was shot dead in Las Piñas City on October 3, 2022 while Villamor died at the New Bilibid Prison. An autopsy by forensic pathologist Dr. Raquel Fortun showed the remains of Villamor to have a “history of asphyxia by plastic bag suffocation.

Catherine R. Cueto

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