A radio broadcaster was shot dead near his home in Las Piñas Monday night, police said Tuesday. He was the latest in a long list of journalists killed in the country.
Percival Mabasa—also known as Percy Lapid–was driving to work at radio station DWBL when he was gunned down by two assailants on a motorcycle, Las Piñas police chief Col. Jaime Santos told ABS-CBN Teleradyo.
The Palace said they wanted a police report on the killing of Mabasa—a critic of the former President Rodrigo Duterte and the policies of the administration — within a week.
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) was on the case.
Santos said the killing could have been work-related.
Mabasa has been critical of “red-tagging” — accusing someone of being a communist sympathizer — as well as online gambling operations and misinformation around martial law, said the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP)
The press advocacy group described the killing in the capital as “brazen” and said it showed “journalism remains a dangerous profession in the country.”
Mabasa is the second journalist to be killed since President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. assumed power on June 30, the group added.
Acting Metro Manila police chief Brig. Gen. Jonnel Estomo said a special task force had been created to investigate Mabasa’s death.
In an October 2021 report, the New-York based Committee to Protect Journalists ranked the Philippines seventh on a global impunity index, with 13 murders still unsolved.
The nation has been a mainstay in the annual index since it started in 2008.
Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Hubert Guevarra told reporters that the Office of the President—particularly Mr. Marcos — was concerned by Mabasa’s killing.
Mabasa’s family said it was seeking justice.
In a statement on Facebook, the family expressed their grief and anger over the killing of Mabasa, which they called “brutal and brazen.”
“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,” they said.
The family described the victim as “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 air waves and social media,” the statement added.
The NUJP condemned the killing and called on the Philippine National Police (PNP) to hold the perpetrators accountable for the incident.
The National Capital Region Police Office has formed a special team to investigate and go after the perpetrators in the murder.
Mabasa, anchorman of the “Lapid Fire” program over DWBL 1242, was shot dead inside his black Toyota Innova at the gate of BF Resort Village in Barangay Talon Dos around 8:30 p.m.
Responding policemen recovered two empty shells of unknown caliber at the crime scene.
According to his brother Roy, a former president of the National Press Club, Mabasa was ambushed while on his way to the studio where he broadcast his radio program.
Credit belongs to : www.manilastandard.net