Presidents were fair game for slain radioman-vlogger | Inquirer News

Presidents were fair game for slain radioman-vlogger

WEEPING FOR JUSTICE Lisa Mabasa, widow of slain radio broadcaster Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa, weeps at the family residence on Tuesday, a day after her husband was gunned down on the way home. The family is demanding justice, saying the attack was not only against him but also against the country and the truth.

WEEPING FOR JUSTICE | Lisa Mabasa, widow of slain radio broadcaster Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa, weeps at the family residence on Tuesday, a day after her husband was gunned down on the way home. The family is demanding justice, saying the attack was not only against him but also against the country and the truth. (Photo by RICHARD A. REYES / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation are separately investigating the killing of a radio broadcaster and vlogger who was known for his sharp criticisms of former President Rodrigo Duterte and the policies and officials under President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., officials said on Tuesday.

Percival Mabasa, popularly known as Percy Lapid, had been critical of “red-tagging” as well as online gambling operations and misinformation about the martial law regime of Marcos’ late father and namesake, according to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP).

ADVERTISEMENT

The popular commentator, who had 215,000 YouTube subscribers and 45,000 Facebook followers, became a strong voice of dissent on social media platforms dominated by pro-Duterte and pro-Marcos vloggers.

Warning to Marcos

Mabasa had supported the presidential campaign of former Vice President Leni Robredo and called the Marcos and Duterte families traitors.

FEATURED STORIES

He once called Marcos “Pres. Bonget” and criticized the hasty approval of the budget of the Office of the President and the appointment of the now resigned Victor Rodriguez as executive secretary. But in his recent shows, he had been warning the president about alleged attempts by Duterte’s camp to take him down.

According to the Southern Police District, Mabasa was shot twice to the head inside his car at the gate of BF Resort Village in Las Piñas City as he was driving home around 8:30 p.m. on Monday.

He was less than a kilometer away from his residence at San Beda Homes in Barangay Talon Dos when he was attacked.

The police said a closed-circuit television footage obtained by investigators showed one of two men on a motorcycle approach Mabasa’s car and fired at him. Two bullets slammed into his left ear, killing him instantly.

The attack was condemned by journalists, several lawmakers and human rights advocates, who called on the authorities to find the killers and the mastermind.

Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Hubert Guevara said the president was “concerned” about the killing and instructed Malacañang officials to follow up on the police investigation of the ambush on Mabasa.

Guevara said he would meet with the members of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security “to advise them, to sit down with the Southern Police District and ensure that the conduct of investigation proceeds without any problem.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The investigators were told to submit a report within the next seven days, he said.

“The NBI is on the case,” was all that Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla told reporters in a brief statement on Tuesday.

NBI officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Special task force

PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Roderick Augustus Alba said that a special investigation task force was created to identify those responsible for the killing.

Brig. Gen. Jonnel Estomo, acting director of the National Capital Region Police Office, said he gave Las Piñas police chief Col. Jaime Santos 24 hours to solve the case.

Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa —videograb from Facebook page of Percy Lapid Fire

Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa (Screenshot from a video posted on the Facebook page of Percy Lapid Fire)

“While his work as a radio commentator involves discussion of critical issues, we cannot fully conclude as of this time that the motive [for the killing] is work-related, but we are exploring all possible angles as of this time,” said Alba, the PNP’s focal person in the media security task force.

The task force itself said in a statement that it was “still too early” to determine the motive for the attack but “will presume the killing to be ‘work-related’ as a matter of procedure so that the full might of the presidential task force will be brought to bear against the perpetrators.”

Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos, who oversees the PNP, promised to “deliver justice” to the family of Mabasa, who left a wife and six children.

197th killed since ’86

According to NUJP, Mabasa is the 197th journalist killed in the country since 1986 and the second under the Marcos administration.

Mabasa was a former broadcaster of radio station dwIZ and a columnist for the tabloid “Hataw.”

He was also one of the petitioners who sought to declare several provisions of Republic Act No. 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, unconstitutional.

He was a staunch critic of Duterte and continued to speak up against Red-tagging, fake news and attacks on the rule of law under the present administration.

In one of his last vlogs, Mabasa spoke against the former mouthpiece of the government’s anti-communist task force, Lorraine Badoy, for launching a vicious verbal attack against a judge who had junked the justice department’s petition to outlaw the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA).

Badoy called Manila Regional Trial Court Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar a friend and ally of the insurgents for ruling that they were not terrorists but rebels and made a veiled death threat against her.

AMBUSH Police say an unidentified assailant riding a motorcycle driven by another man shot Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa while he was driving his car, shown in this screengrab from SMNI News YouTube channel, in an ambush at the gate of BF Resort Village in Las Piñas City on Monday night. No suspect has been arrested.

AMBUSH | Police say an unidentified assailant riding a motorcycle driven by another man shot Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa while he was driving his car, shown in this screengrab from SMNI News YouTube channel, in an ambush at the gate of BF Resort Village in Las Piñas City on Monday night. No suspect has been arrested.

“This is beyond the acceptable level of fair criticism. Criticism is okay. But when you threaten someone, that’s no longer criticism. Threat is different from criticism,” he said during his Sept. 30 broadcast.

‘Digongnyo’

In the same program, Mabasa also attacked Duterte, calling him “Digongnyo,” for “disrespecting the rule of law,” “abusing his power,” and “enabling Badoy” to launch her hateful rants.

He reminded politicians: “Your power is not the same as Superman’s. Having power does not mean you can disregard the Constitution.”

Mabasa used his popular commentary show to call out Juan Ponce Enrile for allegedly whitewashing the dictatorship of the elder Marcos.

He also said statements on the extrajudicial killings during Duterte’s drug war by Sen. Ronald dela Rosa were “self-serving.”

Dela Rosa was Duterte’s first PNP chief and the architect of the “tokhang” antidrug campaign that resulted in thousands of deaths of suspected drug offenders.

Both the senator and the former president are facing charges of crimes against humanity connected to the drug war in the International Criminal Court.

—WITH REPORTS FROM NESTOR CORRALES, TINA G. SANTOS, AFP AND INQUIRER RESEARCH 

RELATED STORIES

CHR starts own probe of Percy Lapid killing

President concerned over Percy Lapid slay; Palace vows probe report out in 7 days

‘Speaking the truth is dangerous’ in PH: Percy Lapid killing sparks condemnation

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Percival Mabasa, Percy Lapid
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

News that matters

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.