Percy Lapid case: PNP chief bares receiving info that may lead to mastermind
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. on Tuesday revealed receiving information that may lead to the mastermind behind the fatal ambush of radioman-vlogger Percy Lapid.
In a television interview, Azurin was asked about the information shared by Jose Villamor, a supposed relative of Cristito Palaña (previously identified as Jun or Crisanto Villamor) who was secured by police after reports surfaced that Palaña was already dead.
Both Jose Villamor and Cristito Palaña – the alleged “middleman” or “broker” in Percy Lapid’s assassination – were inmates at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) or Bilibid, but the former had been turned over to the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
READ: TIMELINE: Veteran radioman Percy Lapid’s slay case
“There are revelations that were given to us […] but at this time, we are not at liberty to start revealing what those are because we really need to come up with the definite investigative [pieces of evidence] before we reveal it as it might jeopardize the ongoing investigation,” Azurin, speaking in a mix of English and Filipino, told ABS-CBN News’ Headstart.
While Azurin opted to keep further details under wraps in order to protect the PNP’s ongoing investigation, he confirmed “there is information that is leading to whoever is the suspected mastermind dito po sa investigation natin (in our investigation).”
He likewise did not disclose the role Jose Villamor played in the murder of Lapid, who was gunned down last October 3 in his neighborhood.
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla earlier said Jose Villamor – currently considered a person of interest in the case – “may be a witness, who may know about the persons involved from inside the Bilibid.”
READ: Remulla: Second middleman, another person-of-interest now secured
Azurin also guaranteed that the PNP would also coordinate with the National Bureau of Investigations to seek information from Palaña’s sister, alias “Marisa.”
Marisa had sought help from authorities and claimed that her brother had apparently revealed to her the people behind the killing of Lapid, whose real name was Percival Mabasa.
READ: ‘Middleman’ revealed to sister those behind Percy Lapid murder – report
Azurin said Jose Villamor and Christopher Bacoto – the other supposed middleman currently secured at a Bureau of Jail Management and Penology facility – were being helpful to their investigation.
READ: Percy Lapid’s brother: Middleman in BJMP is ‘uncooperative’
“There’s cooperation doon po sa mga nasa kustodiya namin kaya lang siyempre, medyo unti-unti po iyong pagbibigay nila ng information because definitely, there might be something holding them back to reveal other information like for example, iyong security po ng kanilang family, iyong security po ng immediate family and loved ones nila,” he added.
(There’s cooperation from those under our custody but of course, they would only gradually give information because definitely, there might be something holding them back to reveal other information like for example, the security of their family, their immediate family and loved ones.)
Palaña and Bacoto were implicated by confessed gunman Joel Escorial as the alleged conspirators in Lapid’s brutal murder.
READ: Percy Lapid slay case: Gunman says ‘someone from Bilibid’ gave kill order
Palaña reportedly died at the NBP hospital on October 18, hours after Escorial was presented before the public in a news conference at Camp Crame in Quezon City.
Autopsy of ‘middleman’ in Percy Lapid killing raises more questions
Percy Lapid murder: PNP thinks abrupt death of ‘middleman’ in NBP dubious
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