Mysteries inside the New Bilibid Prison continue, as Justice Secretary Boying Remulla revealed that he had a conversation with suspended Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag, with the latter saying the deep excavation inside the insular prison was intended for “treasure hunting.”
On Friday, Remulla told the reporters that Bantag personally told him about the search for the mythical “Yamashita’s Treasure” sometime in August or September.
Remulla considered it “ridiculous” and a “waste of government time and money,” and prompted the former BuCor chief to halt it immediately during their conversation.
“You’re not there to seek for treasure. You’re there to run the corrections department,” Remulla shared what he told to Bantag.
When asked about his actions over the issue, Remulla said he would still have to formally investigate what happened considering that it is a serious concern.
The Justice Secretary’s revelation was contrary to Bantag’s earlier statement that the unauthorized excavation was supposedly done to build a diving pool, insisting that he is a master in scuba diving.
Meanwhile, BuCor officer-in-charge Gregorio Catapang, Jr. stated that they are still looking into all of the mysteries inside the national penitentiary, including the possibility that the excavation was used for smuggling and as an escape tunnel.
The discovery of the 200 meters by 200 meters wide and 30 meters deep hole was allegedly and secretly began six months ago, according to an ABS-CBN report;
Bantag’s name was divulged after facing murder complaints over the deaths of broadcaster Percy Lapid, and the alleged middleman Jun Villamor.