Percy Lapid — broadcaster and government critic — shot dead in Las Piñas

Percy Lapid â broadcaster and government critic â shot dead in Las Piñas
File photo shows a person holding a sign that says "Defend Press Freedom"

MANILA, Philippines (2nd update, 10:02 a.m.) — Broadcaster Percival Mabasa, more popularly known as Percy Lapid and for his staunch criticism of the Duterte and Marcos Jr. administrations, was shot dead Monday night in Las Piñas City.

According to reports, two assailants on board a motorcycle fired two shots at Lapid’s vehicle near the gate of a subdivision along Aria St., Brgy. Talon Dos.

Lapid’s family said in a statement that they are “saddened and angered by the brutal and brazen killing” of the broadcaster, which they described as a crime “not only against Percy, his family, and his profession, but against our country, his beloved Philippines, and the truth.”

“Percy was beloved by many and highly respected by peers, fans and foes alike. His bold and sharp commentaries cut through the barrage of fake news over the air waves and social media,” his family said.

In a statement, the Philippine National Police vowed to bring justice for Lapid and that an investigation is underway to find the suspects behind the killing.

It added that Las Piñas police have formed a special task force “to spearhead and coordinate the investigative and prosecutorial efforts of the PNP.”

Lapid was the host of the commentary program Lapid Fire that aired on DWBL 1242 where he delivered stinging criticisms of supposed government abuses and irregularities.

In his last broadcast on Sept. 30, Lapid discussed the dangers of red-tagging among other political topics.

He was the older brother of former National Press Club president Roy Mabasa.

According to a tally by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, Lapid is the second journalist to be killed under the administration of President Marcos Jr. after broadcaster Rey Blanco was stabbed to death in Negros Oriental last month.

Calls for justice and an end to killings that have been perceived to have become rampant since the Duterte administration flooded social media.

The NUJP said Tuesday in a statement that Lapid's killing "shows that journalism remains a dangerous profession in the country."

"That the incident took place in Metro Manila indicates how brazen the perpetrators were, and how authorities have failed to protect journalists as well as ordinary citizens from harm," it said.

Rep. France Castro (ACT Teachers party-list), meanwhile, said the "culture of impunity is worsening in the country."

"We condemn this heinous act against Percy Lapid and we are calling for an impartial probe on the matter," Castro said Tuesday in a statement. — Xave Gregorio



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