MANILA— Suspended Bureau of Corrections director general Gerald Bantag is facing new charges over allegations of torture and physical injuries.
Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) acting chief Gregorio Catapang said Wednesday the complaints will be filed this week against Bantag following the allegations made by gang leaders inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City that they were tortured by the suspended official early this year.
Catapang said BuCor will help Batang Cebu gang leader Jonathan Canete and Ronald Usman of Batang Mindanao in filing the cases before the Muntinlupa Prosecutor’s Office either on Thursday or Friday.
Canete and Usman claimed that Bantag stabbed their hands and legs while the official was drunk during a confrontation inside his office last February.
“Kahapon kinunan na namin ng sworn affidavit itong mga dalawa sinaksak sa kamay at sa hita. Hopefully mai-file namin before Friday yung kaso dito na sa Muntinlupa. Dito naman nangyari yung krimen (We got the sworn affidavit yesterday of these two who were stabbed in the hand and thigh. Hopefully we will be to file the cases before Friday here in Muntinlupa),” Catapang said in an interview with radio station DZBB.
He said they have witnesses and hospital records to support the claims of the two inmates.
He said initial investigation said the two were among 13 gang leaders summoned by Bantag to his office and confronted them after an incident where four inmates managed to escape.
“Sinabi nila na lasing na raw si Bantag. Sa kanila nabuntong ‘yung galit dahil may nakatakas,” (They said Bantag was drunk. They were being blamed because someone escaped),” Catapang said.
Another case of stabbing is also looked into, Catapang said, referring to an inmate who was transferred from NBP to BuCor Leyte where he was stabbed later on by a fellow inmate. The inmate survived the attack.
This inmate, he added, was transferred to Leyte allegedly for failure to meet a PHP4 million quota worth of alcohol, cigarettes, tobacco and drugs assigned to him by Bantag and deputy security officer Ricardo Zulueta.
“Kasi yung mga ano na yan kumander parang binibigyan sila ng privilege .Ngayon ‘pag nagkumander ka may quota ka monthly bibigyan kita ng consignee na worth PHP2 to PHP4 million assorted alak, tabako, sigarilyo, drugs (Those commanders were given privileges. Now, when you become a commander, you have a monthly quota. I will give you a consignee worth PHP2 to PHP4 million assorted alcohol, tobacco, cigarettes, drugs),” he said.
A lookout bulletin has been issued against Bantag and Zulueta, the alleged masterminds in the killing of broadcast journalist Percival “Ka Percy Lapid” Mabasa and inmate Jun Villamor. (PNA)