8 Bilibid inmates plead guilty as accomplices, accessories to killing of middleman in Percy Lapid case

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
8 Bilibid inmates plead guilty as accomplices, accessories to killing of middleman in Percy Lapid case
Family members grieve the loss of journalist Percival Mabasa at their home in Las Pinas, suburban Manila on October 4, 2022. Mabasa, a Philippine radio broadcaster was shot dead near his home in suburban Manila, police said on October 4, the latest in a long list of journalists killed in the country.
AFP / Jam Sta. Rosa

MANILA, Philippines — Eight inmates of the New Bilibid Prison have pleaded guilty to a lesser degree of involvement in the killing of Jun Villamor, the alleged middleman in the high-profile murder of broadcaster Percival Mabasa, more popularly known as Percy Lapid. 

Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 206 Presiding Judge Gener Gito, in the same ruling, archived the case against former corrections chief Gerald Bantag and his deputy Ricardo Zulueta pending their arrest. According to the Benchbook for Trial Court Judges, cases may be archived "if there is failure to execute the warrant of arrest or no report is made within ten days from receipt of the warrant by the executing officer."

Inmates Mario Alvarez, Christian Ramac, Ricky Salgado, Ronnie Dela Cruz And Joel Reyes pleaded guilty as accomplices — meaning they participated in the commission — to the crime of murder. Meanwhile, inmates Alvin Labra, Aldrin Galicia and Joseph Georfo pleaded guilty as accessories to the crime of murder.

“Considering the pleas of guilty of the present accused, the prosecution was able to prove the guilt of all the accused present beyond reasonable doubt as accomplice for accused Alvarez, Ramac, Salgado, Dela Cruz and Reyes, and as accessory for accused Labra, Galicia and Georfo to the crime murder pursuant to Art. 248 in relation to Art. 18 and 19 of the Revised Penal Code,” the court said.

Alvarez, Ramac, Salgado, Dela Cruz and Reyes were sentenced to six years and one day, to 14 years and eight months and one day in prison. The court also ordered the five to pay jointly and severally a total of P225,000 for civil indemnity, moral damages and exemplary damages.

Labra, Galicia and Georfo meanwhile were sentenced to two years, four months and one day to eight years and one day in prison. They were also directed to pay P150,000.

Galicia and Labra, along with Alfie Peñaredonda, were earlier convicted by the Las Piñas court, for their role as accessories to the murder of Lapid.

Galicia is a Sputnik gang commander, Labra is a Batang City Jail commander and Peñaredonda a HappyGoLucky gang commander.

Pending arrest

Meanwhile, the case against Bantag and Zulueta, alleged masterminds in the case, has been archived by the Muntinlupa court.

“Considering that the other accused in this case, accused [Bantag and Zulueta] are not yet arrested, let this case be sent to the archive subject to revival upon the arrest of said accused,” the ruling read.

The National Bureau of Investigation is offering a reward of P3 million to anyone who can provide information for the arrest of Bantag and Zulueta, who are also facing a separate murder case for the killing of inmate Jun Villamor, alleged middleman in the murder.

Lapid, known for his vocal criticism of the Duterte and Marcos Jr. administrations, was shot dead on Oct. 3, 2022 in Las Piñas City. 

vuukle comment




  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with