MANILA, Philippines — The killing of journalists, including Percival Mabasa, “will never silence us,” opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros said Tuesday.
Hontiveros strongly condemned the killing of Mabasa, better known as Percy Lapid, at the gate of BF Resort Village in Talon Dos, Las Piñas on Monday night.
“This is a brazen attack on press freedom. But this also demonstrates the inherent power of speech and truth-telling,” she said in a statement.
The senator remembered Lapid as a “strong dissenting voice that made sure government officials did not become too comfortable with power.”
His assassination, she lamented, sends a signal that critics will be silenced.
“Percy’s death, and all the deaths of all other journalists before him, will never silence us,” Hontiveros said.
“We will never tolerate a society that is afraid of the truth. Patuloy nating ipaglalaban ang katarungan at katotohanan, para na rin sa ating mga anak,” she added.
(We will never tolerate a society that is afraid of the truth. On the contrary, we will pursue our fight for justice and truth for our children’s sake.)
The senator then joined Lapid’s family and friends in calling for justice.
She also called on authorities “to conduct an impartial investigation and speedily get to the bottom of this murder.”
“To our friends in the media, I am with you. We will continue to hold the line with you,” the opposition senator said.
Senator Robin Padilla, chairman of the Senate committee on public information and mass media, voiced similar sentiments, demanding a swift resolution to Lapid’s case.
“Even as I offer my sincere sympathy to the family and loved ones of Percy, I call on our authorities to apprehend the perpetrators and solve this dastardly crime as soon as possible,” Padilla said in a separate statement.