Bato Dela Rosa scraps Rodrigo Duterte link in Percy Lapid murder: ‘Motive is malayo’
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa rejected on Tuesday any attempt to link former President Rodrigo Duterte to the October 3 killing of hard-hitting broadcaster Percy Lapid.
It was Duterte who appointed suspended Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) director general Gerald Bantag, one of the accused in the murder of Lapid (real name: Percival Mabasa) and in the death of alleged conspirator Cristito Palaña (previously identified as Jun Villamor).
“You can speculate as much as you can, as much as you want, but the investigation points to that person,” Dela Rosa said in an interview at the Senate when asked if the investigation should stop with Bantag.
“Maghanap pa talaga kayo? Gusto ‘nyo pa idawit si, sino? ‘Yung nag-appoint kay Bantag? Si President Duterte gusto pa ‘nyong idawit? Sino pa gusto ‘nyong idawit? Sige nga,” the senator also said.
(You really want to link the person who appointed Bantag? Do you want to drag President Duterte? Who else do you want to drag into this case?)
Lapid’s own brother, Roy Mabasa, had said that he believes more masterminds were behind the killing.
Police earlier considered at least 160 persons of interest in the Lapid slay case as they had been the frequent targets of the slain radioman in his program since 2021.
Lapid was also a known critic of the administrations of Duterte and President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
The senator, however, could not think of any reason why Duterte would have wanted Lapid killed especially now that the former leader is no longer in power.
“Kung kasama s’ya (Duterte) sa doon 160 then kino kino-consider din s’ya pero bakit pa n’ya patayin si, nag-retire na nga, umalis ka na, ‘di ka na presidente. Bakit di mo pinatay nung ikaw ay presidente pa, na kaya mo pa ang lahat at saka na pwede mong patayin talaga using all your powers. Ngayon pa na wala ka na sa poder saka ka pa mag-interes ng tao?” Dela Rosa asked.
(If he’s included in the 160, then he is being considered also but why would he want to kill…he is already retired, he is no longer president. Why didn’t you kill when you’re still the president, when you still can using all your powers?)
“For what? Ayaw mong masira ang political career mo na tinitira ka? Eh ano pang career ang pinaguusapan d’yan. Retired ka na nga eh. Ano pa ang motive mo? Motive is malayo.”
(For what? Because you don’t want to destroy your political career? But what career is there to talk about when you are already retired. What would be your motive? Motive is far fecthed)
Dela Rosa appealed to everyone to respect the investigation conducted by the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation.
“Mahirap kasi maramimg nagmamarunong, marami nagkukunyari na may alam, maraming gustong isaksak doon sa imbestigasyon na hanggang daldal lang naman. Eh kanya-kanyang sariling investigation kung gusto ninyo,” he then said.
(It’s hard when many are playing wise, many are pretending to know, many want to insist on something in the investigation which are mere noise. Maybe do your own investigation if you want.)
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