DOJ chief Remulla: ‘Middleman in prison’ in Percy Lapid slay already dead
MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla on Thursday revealed receiving a report that the alleged middleman in the murder of broadcaster Percy Lapid is already dead.
According to Remulla, the 42-year-old Crisanto Palara Villamor Jr., an inmate at the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) died on Tuesday, October 18 — the same day a press conference was held in Camp Crame, Quezon City, to present confessed gunman Joel Escorial to the media.
He said Villamor was at the prison hospital when he died – although it was unclear whether the prisoner died while confined or was declared dead on arrival.
“He was rushed to the hospital 2:30, unable to breathe… He was pronounced dead at 3 in the afternoon. That’s the report given to me. Kanina ko lang nakuha ‘yung report [I only got the report today],” Remulla told reporters.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) chief said he had ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct an autopsy on the person’s body.
The NBP, popularly known as Bilibid, in Muntinlupa City is the country’s main penitentiary managed by the Bureau of Corrections under the DOJ. The NBI is also under the DOJ.
“It is the NBI and the autopsy that is very important,” he said, adding that “we will open it to other medico-legal experts to find out.”
Earlier Thursday, however, the police said they had already secured the supposed “middleman in prison” who is currently undergoing trial for illegal drugs.
READ: ‘Middleman from prison’ in Percy Lapid slay identified, facing drug-related raps
“I am at a loss here. Basta’ yan [his death] ang report sa akin (Nevertheless, that’s the report I got). I want to be very candid about [it] here. Sinasabi ko talaga (I am just telling) as I know,” Remulla said when asked for clarification.
Confessed gunman Joel Escorial claimed on October 18 that “someone from Bilibid” gave the order to kill Lapid, whose real name was Percy Mabasa.
Last October 3, Lapid was killed in an ambush outside the gate of the Las Piñas City neighborhood where he lived.
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