Palace looking into Percy Lapid killing: exec

By Azer Parrocha and Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

October 4, 2022, 7:05 pm

MANILA – President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Tuesday ordered an investigation into the killing of veteran broadcaster Percival C. Mabasa, more popularly known as “Percy Lapid”, who was shot dead by two gunmen on Monday while he was on his way home.

In an interview with select reporters, Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Hubert Guevara said Marcos is “concerned” over the incident.

“The Office of the President (OP), particularly PBBM, is concerned of what had happened to Percy Lapid. In fact, we have been instructed to take a look at the conduct of the investigation on the ambush on him last night,” he said.

Guevara said the OP has already coordinated with concerned officials and agencies.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said the Las Piñas City station of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) already formed a special investigation task force to identify the perpetrators and determine the motive behind Lapid’s killing.

Guevara said he is also eyeing to meet with officials of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFOMS).

“I personally would meet with them and convene them if necessary, to advise them, encourage them, to sit down with the Southern Police District and ensure that the conduct of investigation proceeds without any problem,” he said.

He expressed hope that concerned agencies would be able to submit a report on Lapid’s slay “within the next seven days.”

Lapid was ambushed by two assailants onboard a motorcycle at around 8:30 p.m. Monday at the gate of BF Resort along Aria Street, Barangay Talon 2, Las Piñas City.

The National Union of Journalists condemned Lapid's killing, citing how "the killing shows that journalism remains a dangerous profession in the country."

"That the incident took place in Metro Manila indicates how brazen the perpetrators were, and how authorities have failed to protect journalists as well as ordinary citizens from harm,” the NUJP said in a statement.

Canada expresses grave concern

The Canadian Embassy in Manila on Tuesday expressed grave concern over the death of Percy Lapid.

"We express our grave concern about the killing of broadcast commentator Mr. Percival Mabasa (a.k.a Percy Lapid) by unidentified assailants last night. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family & loved ones," the Embassy said in a statement.

It said journalist killings strike at the very core of media freedom and can create a chilling effect that curtails the ability of journalists to report news freely and safely.

"Such attacks on media workers must be urgently investigated, and those responsible must be held to account," it said.

Canada, as co-chair of the Media Freedom Coalition, said it welcomes the action of law enforcement agencies to investigate Mabasa’s death.

It then urged Philippine authorities "to take concrete steps to ensure not only that the perpetrators are brought to justice, but to create a safe environment for journalists to carry out their work without fear for their lives and safety."

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.

The PTFOMS in a separate statement also condemned the broadcaster's senseless killing and made an assurance that it "will not rest until the perpetrators of this heinous crime are brought to justice."

"There is absolutely no justification for murder," it said.

"The PTFOMS has been in close coordination with law enforcement agencies, particularly the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Media Security Vanguards, in the investigation of the incident. The PNP is one of the member agencies composing the PTFOMS," it added.

Last Sept. 18, radio broadcaster Renato "Rey" Blanco was stabbed to death in Mabinay, Negros Oriental. (PNA)