Torture, physical injury raps await Bantag

TORTURE. Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) acting chief Gregorio Catapang while being interviewed by reporters in this file photo. Catapang said complaints are being readied against suspended BuCor chief Gerald Bantag. (PNA)

New criminal charges await suspended Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) director general Gerald Bantag, for alleged torture and physical injuries.

BuCor acting chief Gregorio Catapang said the complaints will be filed this week against Bantag following the allegations by  gang leader inmates made on them early this year at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.

Catapang said their office will help Batang Cebu gang leader Jonathan Canete and Ronald Usman of Batang Mindanao in filing the cases before the Muntinlupa Prosecutor’s Office this week.

Canete and Usman claimed that Bantag stabbed their hands and legs while the official was drunk during a confrontation inside his office last February.

Catapang told reporters in a media interview they now have the sworn affidavits of the two complainants who claim to have been stabbed in their hand and thigh. He also said there are witnesses and hospital records to support the claims of the two inmates.

Initial investigation indicates that Canete and Usman were  among 13 gang leaders summoned by Bantag to his office and confronted them after an incident where four inmates managed to escape from prison.

“They said Bantag was drunk and they were being blamed because some inmates had escaped,” Catapang shared, adding that another case of stabbing is also being looked into. In the later case, the victim who survived the attack, is an inmate who was transferred from NBP to BuCor Leyte where he was later on stabbed by a fellow inmate.

The victim inmate, Catapang added, was transferred to Leyte due allegedly to his failure to meet a P4 million quota worth of alcohol, cigarettes, tobacco and drugs assigned to him by certain high BuCor officials.