MANILA - Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla handed down a fresh suspension order against suspended Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) director-general Gerald Bantag, this time for allowing a television interview to a high-profile inmate in supposed violation of prison rules.
In a Department Order No. 10 dated Jan. 17, Remulla informed Bantag of the preventive suspension pending formal administrative investigation.
The suspension, Remulla said in the order, is "to preclude the possibility of exerting undue influence or pressure on the witness against you (Bantag) or tampering of documentary evidence on file with your office."
The latest administrative charge arose from the interview on March 30, 2022 by the Sonshine Media Network International with incarcerated retired general Jovito Palparan inside the BuCor offices at the Minimum Security Compound at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City.
Bantag had apparently approved the request originally made by the network on Nov. 15, 2021.
The interview, Remulla said was done without complying with the BuCor Operating Manual on the process of approval of requests for person deprived of liberty (PDL) interview and the proper procedure/ guidelines in regard to PDL interviews.
Bantag has been suspended from his post amid his alleged involvement in the killing of broadcaster Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa and an inmate who had supposedly brokered the assassination from behind bars. (PNA)