Revilla seeks deeper probe into Percy Lapid slay
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. wants the Senate to look into the claim of a confessed gunman that the order to kill broadcaster Percival Mabasa, more known as Percy Lapid, came from “someone” from the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
Just a few hours after suspect Joel Escorial, who surrendered to authorities on October 17, was presented to the media on Tuesday, Revilla filed Senate Resolution No. 264, directing the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs to conduct the inquiry.
“It is vital to unearth the truth about the factual circumstances that occurred which led to the slaying of Percy Lapid, as well as to lay bare whether the orders came from an inmate or an official/employee of the NBP,” he said in the resolution.
Revilla said it is “imperative” to institute reforms inside the national penitentiary if proven true.
“Allowing government resources to in effect be used to protect the mastermind of crimes is at the heights of atrocity, and must not be condoned,” the senator said.
In the resolution, Revilla also underscored the need to look into the state of the national penitentiary “to uncover whether prisoners are unlawfully granted special treatment or undue advantage that would have allowed them to still commit criminal acts by themselves or through another despite being jailed.”
“It is likewise necessary to ascertain whether there are public officials and/or employees from inside the national penitentiary whose act or omission may have permitted the perpetration of this heinous act which did not only cause senseless loss of life but also ultimately creates a chilling effect on the members of the press,” he said.
“All perpetrators of such ruthless murder, especially the real mastermind behind the heinous act, must be brought to justice and should not go unpunished,” the senator stressed.
Aside from the Senate probe, Revilla wants the Philippine National Police to continue investigating Lapid’s killing despite the gunman already being in police custody.
He said the case could not be considered solved yet because Escorial’s accomplices are still at large, and the mastermind has yet to be identified.
“Liban kasi dito kay Escorial, may tatlo pa raw siyang kasama sa pagpatay na hindi pa nahuhuli,” Revilla said in a statement.
(Aside from Escorial, he allegedly has three partners in the killing who are still at large.)
“Kalokohan na masyado (It’s too ridiculous) that government resources are being used to in effect protect these masterminds who are housed in a government facility, ‘di ba (right)?”
“This is why the PNP must continue investigating, and we at Senate must seek the explanation of the Bureau of Corrections. This must stop,” he also said.
Lapid was gunned down at the gate of a Las Piñas City village last October 3.