MANILA – The family of slain newsman Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa met with officials at the Department of Justice Wednesday and expressed guarded optimism over developments in the case.
Mabasa’s brother, Roy Mabasa, met with Justice Secretary Remulla and representatives of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to get an update on the assassination of Percy in a Las Piñas suburb last Oct. 3.
“Nagkaroon po kami ng maikling case conference with S-O-J (Secretary of Justice) Remulla saka yung mga kinatawan ng NBI upang malaman po namin bilang pamilya, miyembro ng pamilya ni Ka Percy yung progreso sa isinasagawang imbestigasyon. Kami po naman ay nagpapasalamat sa DOJ, sa NBI at maging sa PNP sa kanilang mga ginagawang pagkilos upang malutas natin itong pagpatay sa aking kapatid at matunton kung sino ang nasa likod nito kasama yung mga tinutukoy na mastermind (We had a brief case conference with Secretary Remulla and the representative of the NBI to update the family on the progress of the invesitgation being undertaken. We are thankful to the DOJ, NBI and the PNP on their moves to solve this case and find the mastermind in the killing),” Roy said.
Mabasa said they were shown a timeline of events and sworn statements of potential witnesses, saying they were also promised substantial developments in the case by the end of the week.
“Pinakita sa amin yung mga timeline and affidavits ng mga kanilang kinausap so far naintindihan ko kung bakit doon sila nakatuon kasi may mga corroboration yung mga statements doon sa mga personalidad na nabanggit (We were shown the timeline and affidavits on why they were focusing on certain personalities because there were corroboration in the statements on these personalities),” he said.
“It's going well so far, but as I said, I will reserve our comments until Friday pag nabuo na po ito (when this will be completed). Medyo gumugulong na po ang kaso (The case somehow is now on moving),” he added.
Mabasa also said they welcome plans to provide the family of Percy with temporary security personnel, short of having them placed under the government’s witness protection program (WPP), following threats made on them.
“Actually in principle we agree dun sa security but not the WPP program itself kasi sa ngayon nalilimitahan na yung aming mga galaw bilang pamilya especially mga anak ni Ka Percy, subalit kung ilalagay ko sa WPP ay lalo na siguro sila makukulong (right now we are limiting our movements, especially Percy's children, more so if they are placed under WPP they will have more resrictions). So, ang iniisip namin ay bigyan na lang ng seguridad, siguro. nag agree naman si Secretary Remulla even a few days ago kaya yun yung gagawin natin (So, what we thought was to provide security and Secretary Remulla agreed so that is what we will do),” he said.
Mabasa said the family’s kin in Tuguegarao province has likewise received threats. Percy was shot dead while on board his car last Oct. 3 in a Las Piñas City. Joel Escorial, has since come forward claiming to be the gunman and part of a team who planned the attack. (PNA)