Bantag faces new charges for allegedly coercing Ihawig inmates
Bantag faces new charges for allegedly coercing Ihawig inmates
Bantag faces new charges for allegedly coercing Ihawig inmates
by Ellicia Del Mundo20 May 2023
Photo courtesy: Gerald Bantag Facebook

Following the torture charges, former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag is now facing another rap concerning coercion complaints filed by persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) of the Iwahig prison and penal farm in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

In a press briefer issued on Friday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said it would charge Bantag and former BuCor spokesperson Gabriel Chaclag with grave coercion under Article 286 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) before the Metropolitan Trial Court.

According to DOJ, evidence has shown that Bantag and Chaclag "unlawfully coerced, through violence, threats, and intimidation, as well as hurling unsavory words" against Iwahig inmates Lazaro Rafols, Jer Sahid Mojado, Eddie Jimenez Jr., Richie Ganja, Roy Gacasa, and Asher Labrador to sign a document stating that there was no shooting incident that happened on March 2, 2020.

"Bantag and Chaclag, even if they were then the superior officers of complainants, had no authority or any right to prevent Canja from filing a criminal case against those involved. As a result, Bantag and Chaclag should be held liable for the crime of grave coercion," it said.

Photo courtesy: Department of Justice (DOJ)


But the justice department noted that no sufficient evidence has proven to indict respondents of grave threats, physical injuries, slander, obstruction of justice, and violation of the Anti-Torture Act.

Also facing the exact charges are former deputy security officer Ricardo Zulueta, and nine other personnel:

  • Victor Erick Pascua
  • Bayani Allaga
  • Rose Marie Casion
  • Jayferson Bon-As
  • Joel Arnold
  • Kanoy Lattot
  • Ave Akilit
  • Edgar Angeles Jr.
  • Michael Marzan

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