Persons higher than Bantag may be named masterminds in Lapid slay — Mabasa lawyer
MANILA, Philippines – Persons that have a higher ranking than suspended Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) director general Gerald Bantag can still be named as masterminds in the Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa slay, said the Mabasa family lawyer on Tuesday.
Authorities have named Bantag as one of the alleged masterminds behind Lapid’s killing, and the BuCor chief now faces murder raps. Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla has urged the BuCor chief to surrender.
“From the results of the fact-finding investigation of the DOJ, as Secretary Remulla said, the totality of evidence points to General Bantag as the mastermind. Although, we are not discounting the possibility that there could be persons higher than Bantag that can be involved in the killings,” said Mabasa family lawyer Danilo Pelagio in an interview with ANC.
In a previous interview with DZMM, Lapid’s brother, Roy Mabasa, had said that former president Rodrigo Duterte should be a person of interest in Lapid’s killing, as Duterte was heavily criticized in the slain journalist’s commentary.
According to Pelagio, there is no evidence yet linking Duterte to the case.
“There are, as we understood, 160 persons of interest but right now, if we look at the evidence, there is no evidence linking the president. That’s why, in the course of the trial, something could crop up which could lead to the filing of new charges,” Palagio stated.
Meanwhile, Bantag has already denied allegations of being linked to the Lapid case, saying that he would rather die than go to prison.