Fourth person convicted over slay of Percy Lapid
The Las Piñas Regional Trial Court (RTC) sentenced Denver Mayores, an accessory to the killing of broadcaster Percy Lapid (Percival Mabasa, in real life), to two to eight years imprisonment, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Thursday.
In a statement, the DOJ said Mayores was sentenced on Dec. 4 by RTC Judge Harold Huliganga after Mayores pleaded guilty as an accessory to Lapid’s murder on Oct. 8, 2022.
Mayores was found to have cooperated in the killing by handing video recordings of Lapid from Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) official Ricardo Zulueta to the group that was tasked to find the hitman.
Mayores, who was a detainee at the time, was the fourth to be convicted for involvement in the slay, following the convictions of Aldrin Galicia, Alvin Labra, and Alfie Penaredonda, who were Bilibid gang leaders.
Galicia, Labra, and Penaredonda were convicted for the killing of another Bilibid inmate Jun Villamor, who supposedly recruited the person who actually shot Lapid who was on his way home.
The DOJ said it was monitoring developments in the case of the actual gunman,
Joel Escorial, whose case is expected to be completed in February.
But the main suspects in the case—former BuCor chief Gerald Bantag and his BuCor aide Ricardo Zulueta—remain at large.
The National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police filed murder charges against Bantag and the others in November. The DOJ did not comment on Bantag’s whereabouts.
According to the DOJ, “the conviction of Mayores, who initially faced a murder complaint as a principal by indispensable cooperation, underscores the complex web of involvement in Lapid’s assassination.”
“This series of convictions marks a critical point in the DOJ’s pursuit of justice in the high-profile murders of Lapid and Villamor,” the DOJ said.
“The department remains committed to upholding the rule of law and ensuring a thorough and fair legal process in these cases,” it assured.
Mabasa was a vocal critic of former president Rodrigo Duterte and incumbent President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., but court proceedings indicate he was killed because of his criticism of Bantag.