Bureau of Corrections

Muntinlupa court issues hold departure order vs Bantag, Zulueta

Jairo Bolledo

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Muntinlupa court issues hold departure order vs Bantag, Zulueta

CHARGED. Then-suspended BuCor chief Gerald Bantag shows up at the Department of Justice with his counsel, lawyer Rocky Balisong, to attend the continuation of the preliminary investigation into the killing of broadcaster Percival 'Percy Lapid' Mabasa, on December 5, 2022.


The hold departure order is issued by Muntinlupa RTC Branch 206 in an order dated April 25, 2023

MANILA, Philippines – Following the issuance of arrest warrants, a Muntinlupa court issued a hold departure order (HDO) against former Bureau of Corrections director general Gerald Bantag and former BuCor official Ricardo Zulueta, the Department of Justice (DOJ) confirmed on Thursday, April 27.

“WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Urgent Motion for the Issuance of Hold Departure Order is GRANTED. Let a Hold-Departure Order be issued against accused DG Gerald Bantag y Quitaleg and CR/SSupt. Ricardo S. Zulueta,” the court order read.

The HDO was issued by Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court Branch 206 in an order dated April 25, 2023. Presiding Judge Gener Gito signed the order.

According to the Supreme Court, an HDO “shall be issued only in criminal cases within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Courts.” The order prevents a person from leaving the country. The HDO’s issuance is also standard practice for the prosecution to ensure that the accused will remain in the country to face his/ her case.

On April 13, the same Muntinlupa court issued a warrant against Bantag and his companions over the death of Jun Villamor, the alleged middleman who contacted people to order Lapid’s killing.

Lapid, a vocal critic of former president Rodrigo Duterte and incumbent President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., was gunned down by motorcycle-riding assailants in Las Piñas City on October 3, 2022. Later, Bantag, Zulueta, and some persons deprived of liberty were implicated in the case. – Rappler.com

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Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering justice, police, and crime.