Bantag in hot water again

The Department of Justice on Thursday revealed that DoJ Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla has placed suspended Bureau of Corrections chief Geral Bantag under a 90-day preventive suspension in connection with the interview of convict ex-general Jovito Palparan inside the New Bilibid Prison on 15 November 2021.

In a one page order dated 17 January and signed by Remulla,, it stated that Bantag will be suspended without pay for 90 days effective immediately.

The Department Order 010, also stated the suspension was to preclude the possibility of exerting undue influence or pressure on the witnesses against him or tampering of documentary evidence filed with his office, pending administrative investigation for grave misconduct and neglect of duty.

The DoJ said that the suspension order was due to Bantag’s failure to observe the procedure with regards to the process of approval of interview pursuant to Section 4, Chapter 3, Part IV of the Bureau of Corrections operating manual.

It added that Bantag also failed to observe the proper procedure in the conduct of PDL interviews and failure to comply with the Department Circular 015 dated 27 January 2017 done in the course of his duty as director General.

Also, in a one-page formal administrative charges signed by Remulla, it showed that on 15 November 2021, Sonshine Media Network International requested permission to interview Palparan.

The request was approved by Bantag and on 30 March 2022, the interview proceeded inside the Overseer Office, Minimum Security Compound at the NBP.

The complaint said the media interview was conducted without complying with existing rules and regulations.

The interview of Palparan raised a howl of protest as it was said that it should not be permitted.

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