VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Bantag NOT cleared from Percy Lapid slay case

A video on YouTube falsely claims suspended Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag has been absolved from the murder of former broadcaster Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa.

On Nov. 14, a YouTube channel published the video with a thumbnail bearing this text: “BOYING MASTERMIND. GEN. BANTAG LUSOT NA SA KASO (Bantag cleared from case).”

This is not true. Bantag remains a person of interest in the case. On Nov. 15, the Department of Justice (DOJ) ordered him and several others to attend the Nov. 23 and Dec. 5 preliminary hearings on the slay case.

The narrator in the video provided no evidence for its claim but delivered a monologue instead.

No court has declared Justice secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla as the architect of the killing of Mabasa, contrary to the other claim in the video’s thumbnail.

In the DOJ’s Nov. 7 press conference, only Bantag and former BuCor deputy senior officer Ricardo Zulueta were named as “principals” behind the broadcaster’s death.

The video with the untrue claim appeared after Bantag alleged in a Nov. 11 interview that Remulla, who ordered him to surrender, was a marijuana user.

YouTube channel Showbiz Sports Fanatics (created on Aug. 9, 2021) published the video, garnering over 400 interactions and 156,000 views.

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(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)