December 4, 2022

Investigators will look into the claims of suspended Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag, the alleged mastermind in the killing of broadcaster Percy Lapid, regarding a convict named German Agojo, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Monday.

“‘Yung kanyang allegations regarding ditto po sa German Agojo po ay iimbestigahan po’yan in Titignan din po ng PNP at the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation)’yan,” PNP spokesman Police Colonel Jean Fajardo said in an interview with GMA’s Unang News Balita.

(The PNP and NBI will investigate and investigate Bantag’s claims regarding the German Agojo.)

“Sabi konga before, even them [Department of Justice] and [Department of the Interior and Local Government] po, nagsabi po na From the start, we will go where the evidence takes us,” she added.

(As I said before, even the Justice Department and the Home Office and local government have said that we will go where the evidence takes us.)

However, Fajardo said the PNP is appealing to the public not to lose focus on the investigation and urged Bantag to present his defense and evidence, such as the preliminary investigation, to the proper quorum.

On Friday, Bantag broke his silence amid murder charges filed against him over the deaths of Lapid and Cristito Villamor Palaña, an inmate at New Bilibid Prison (NBP) who allegedly served as an intermediary in Lapid’s Oct. 3 killing.

According to Bantag, who denied involvement in the two murders, Attorney General Jesus Crispin Remulla ordered the NBI to pull Agojo, an inmate, from the government’s witness protection program. Bantag claimed Agojo had ties to Villamor and Joel Escorial, the self-confessed gunman in the Lapid assassination.

Bantag said Agojo, Villamor and Escorial were implicated in the death of a judge in Tagaytay City. He pointed to Agojo as the leader of the group.

“Resign Mr. Secretary, wala na kayong credibility [you have no credibility]’ Bantag told Remulla in a television interview.

In response, the DOJ said that Bantag’s actions and allegations stemmed from a “misplaced sense of betrayal” after he was labeled a mastermind in complaints filed related to Lapid’s murder.

“There is only one problem, and that is the murders of Percy Lapid and Jun Villamor involved. —KBK, GMA Integrated News