MANILA -- The Parañaque Regional Trial Court (RTC) has cleared Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Gerald Bantag of 10 counts of homicide in connection with the 2016 blast at the Parañaque City Jail.
In its joint decision, RTC Branch 274 Judge Betlee-Ian Barraquias said the court "finds the prosecution to have failed to establish all the elements of the crime for which all the accused are charged and all the material allegations in the criminal cases".
Aside from Bantag, Senior Jail Officer Ricardo Zulueta and Jail Officer 2 Victor Erick Pascua were also cleared of the charges for lack of evidence.
Some 10 inmates were killed in the blast at the jail facility on Aug. 11, 2016, which occurred when the prisoners managed to sneak in an Uzi submachine gun and two hand grenades into the prison.
Bantag replaced Nicanor Faeldon who resigned in the wake of the mess surrounding the premature release of heinous crime convicts under Republic Act No. 10592 otherwise known as the Expanded Good Conduct Time Allowance Law.
Upon assumption as BuCor chief, Bantag ordered the demolition of illegal structures inside the country's national penitentiary. (PNA)