Azurin advises Bantag to answer charges, expresses gratitude for new info on Percy Lapid case

National police chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin, Jr. advised on Monday, Nov. 14, suspended prisons head Gerald Bantag to do the talking during the legal proceedings in connection with the death of broadcast journalist Percival Mabasa and alleged middleman Jun Villamor instead of doing it through media interviews.

In a press briefing at Camp Crame in Quezon City, Azurin explained that it is unhealthy for both Bantag and all the people he mentioned to trade accusations in both the traditional media and the social media.

"Perhaps he should answer all the charges in court. This should not be done in the media, it's unhealthy," said Azurin.

Bantag has been interviewed in the past days where he repeatedly denied all the allegations being hurled against him in connection with Mabasa and Villamor killings.

In the interviews, Bantag stressed that it is illogical for him to tap the services of the very people he has been fighting as part of his job as director general of the Bureau of Corrections.

Bantag, who was tagged as the mastermind in the killing of the two, said all the allegations against him were just part of a demolition job.

He later disclosed the name of a convicted felon whom he said is the boss of self-confessed gunman Joel Escorial and Villamor.

Azurin, for his part, expressed gratitude to Bantag for revealing what he knows regarding the matter.

"I think what the PNP (Philippine National Police) or the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) will do is to check on what Bantag has been claiming about (German) Agojo and if it is related to the case of Percy Mabasa," said Azurin.

"Then thank you as he is beginning to give information and we appreciate what DG (director general) Bantag could help about the case involving Agojo," he added.