December 4, 2022

Attorney General Benedicto Malcontento said Thursday that murder charges in the case of slain TV presenter Percy Lapid have been consolidated.

“Yes,” Malcontento said in a message to reporters when asked to confirm whether all murder charges in the killing of Lapid and alleged middleman Jun Villamor have been consolidated.

Two murder charges were filed against the suspended chief of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), Gerald Bantag, BuCor officer Ricardo Zulueta and scores of people who were detained.

A murder report was also filed against the self-confessed shooter Joel Escorial.

Malcontento also confirmed that a panel of three had been formed.

He said the members included assistant prosecutors Olivia Torrevillas and senior assistant prosecutors Josie Christina Dugay and Charlie Guhit.

Lapid was shot dead in Las Piñas City on October 3 while Villamor died in New Bilibid Prison. An autopsy by forensic pathologist Dr. Raquel Fortin showed that the remains of Villamor had a “history of asphyxia from plastic bag suffocation”.

The National Bureau of Investigation had said both Bantag and Zulueta were still in the country and were attempting to file a travel ban against them. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News