Veteran broadcaster Percy Lapid (Screengrab from Lapid on Fire Facebook)

MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday said a task force has been formed to probe the killing of veteran broadcaster Percival Mabasa, popularly known as Percy Lapid.

"Investigation is underway to determine the culprits and motive of this case. A Special Investigation Task Force was already created by Las Piñas City Station of NCRPO (National Capital Region Police Office) to spearhead and coordinate the investigative and prosecutorial efforts of the PNP," PNP public information office chief Brig. Gen. Roderick Augustus Alba said in a press statement.

Meanwhile, NCRPO chief Brig. Gen. Jonnel Estomo said he has given the Las Piñas City police 24 hours "to shed light on the matter and solve the case".

"NCRPO acknowledges the indispensable part of our media friends in fair, truthful and timely dissemination of information to multitudes of audiences. We will update the public in any smallest detail as to the development of the investigation," Estomo added.

The National Bureau of Investigation is likewise “on the case,” according to a statement of Department of Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla.

Based on the report of the Southern Police District, the victim was inside his black Toyota Innova when he was attacked by assailants on board a motorcycle and a white Toyota Fortuner at the gate of BF Resort Village at around 8:30 p.m. Monday.

Lapid was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The host of the show "Lapid Fire" on radio station DWBL is the older brother of former National Press Club president and former Manila Bulletin reporter Roy Mabasa.

Cry for justice

In a statement, the Mabasa family said it is "deeply saddened and angered" over the killing.

"We strongly condemn this deplorable crime; it was committed not only against Percy, his family, and his profession, but against our country, his beloved Philippines, and the truth. Percy is beloved by many and highly respected by peers, fans, and foes alike. His bold and sharp commentaries cut through the barrage of fake news over the airwaves and social media. We demand that his cowardly assassins be brought to justice," it added.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines also condemned the incident and condoled with the Mabasa family.

"We call on the public to join us in condemning yet another murder of a journalist. We call on the Philippine National Police to hold the perpetrators accountable," the group added. (With a report from Benjamin Pulta/PNA)