THE National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) on Tuesday noted that the murder of veteran broadcaster Percy Lapid in Las Piñas City Monday night happened in Metro Manila, indicating that the killers have become brazen in carrying out their missions.
A still unidentified motorcycle-riding gunman shot and killed the blocktimer of DwBL radio station around 8:45 p.m. Monday before fleeing, police said.
Lapid, whose real name Percival Mabasa, died after being attacked outside the gate of BF Resort Village along Aria Street in Barangay Talon Dos, said the National Capital Region Police Office.
An initial report from the Southern Police District said the suspect was believed to be in the company of occupants of a black Toyota Fortuner who bumped the rear portion of the victim’s Toyota Innova with plate no. NGS-8294.
After Lapid stopped to check the damage, the assassin who was riding a motorcycle stopped near the victim and opened fire at the victim.
The victim, a resident of Talon 2, San Beda Homes in Las Piñas City suffered several gunshot wounds in the body and died on the spot, said SPD director, Colonel Kirby John B. Kraft.
Kraft said two spent casings from an unknown gun caliber were recovered at the scene of the ambush. As of press time, he said that his investigators are still taking the statement of witnesses and looking for CCTV cameras near the scene which could have recorded the incident.
Initial reports said that the victim used to have a program at DWIZ before he became a DwBL block-timer. National Press Club veterans said that many years ago, Lapid was ‘expelled’ from the NPC for a number of reasons, mostly internal.
“The PNP vows to bring justice to an attack against a member of the media industry. Investigation is underway to determine the culprits and motive of this case,” said PNP Public Information Office chief, Brigadier Gen. Rhoderick Augustus B. Alba.
The official said the Las Piñas City Police Station has created a Special Investigation Task Force to spearhead and coordinate the investigative and prosecutorial efforts of the PNP.
“I am deeply saddened and we condemn this crime resulting in the death of Percival Mabasa alias Percy Lapid.’ Presently, a thorough investigation is underway. Looking on all possibilities, we are conducting coordination with the officers of the village and a Special Investigation Task Force was also created by Las Piñas City Statio,” said NCRPO chief, Brig. Gen. Jonnel C. Estomo.
Estomo said they have also sought the help of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and the PNP Intelligence Group in investigating the incident. PNP-CIDG director, Brig. Gen. Ronald O. Lee said he has instructed the CIDG NCR Field Unit to join the probe.
“Likewise, I have given the investigator and the Chief of Police PCOL Jaime Santos, 24 hours to shed light on the matter and solve the case. We assure to provide an update as soon as available,” said Estomo who said he ‘acknowledges the indispensable part of our media friends in fair, truthful and timely dissemination of information to multitudes of audience.’
“We will update the public in any smallest detail as to the development of the investigation.
We guarantee to bring swift justice to the victim and his family,” he said.
“We condole with Lapid’s family, including his brother and veteran journalist Roy Mabasa.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 NUJP said in a statement.
According to the NUJP, Mabasa is the second journalist to be killed in the past two months. Radio broadcaster Rey Blanco was stabbed to death in Mabinay, Negros Oriental last Sept. 18, 2022. By HECTOR LAWAS, ALFRED DALIZON & EDD REYES