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2 suspects in Lapid slay caught on video

Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star
2 suspects in Lapid slay caught on video
Screen grab from GMA News shows the suspects in the killing of Percy Lapid fleeing the scene.
Screen grab

MANILA, Philippines — The motorcycle-riding gunmen who killed hard-hitting radio commentator Percy Lapid in Las Piñas were recorded on footage from the dashcam installed in the victim’s car.

Police, however, said the suspects could not be identified as they wore helmets.

The suspects were seen tailing Lapid’s Toyota Innova, based on video recorded from the rear view camera in his vehicle.

Gunshots rang out before Lapid’s car rammed into another vehicle in front, based on another video.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin said probers are looking at several persons of interest.

Azurin did not give other details as police continue to search for evidence to identify Lapid’s killers.

Asked about the possible motive for the killing, Azurin replied, “The probe is ongoing to determine kung ano po talaga ang motibo. Marami tayong personalities na tinitingnan.”

Lapid, 63, whose real name is Percival Mabasa, was driving his car when he was shot dead in Barangay Talon Dos on Monday night.

He is the brother of Roy Mabasa of the Manila Bulletin.

Azurin visited Lapid’s wake at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque and assured the radio commentator’s family that police are doing everything to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The PNP chief said Lapid’s family wants a thorough investigation that would lead to an airtight case against the suspects.

The special investigation task group is scouring closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage along the roads where Lapid drove to determine the identities of the two persons on a motorcycle who were tailing him before he was killed.

Azurin instructed Southern Police District (SPD) director Col. Kirby John Kraft to look into the areas where Lapid was present on the night he was murdered.

Probers are also coordinating with the barangay supervisor for CCTV footage for clues on the gunmen’s identities.

Col. Restituto Arcangel, SPD deputy district director for operations, said they have yet to find a witness in the killing.

Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos yesterday offered P500,000 for information that would lead to the solution of Lapid’s murder.

“I am taking this on my own as a family friend. I am offering P500,000 of my own money for any information that will help police solve the case,” he told reporters.

DOJ task force

Department of Justice spokesman Mico Clavano said the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFOMS) asked for a separate probe to determine whether or not the murder of Lapid was job-related.

Clavano said the PTFOMS would be leading the investigation, assisted by the PNP task force and the National Bureau of Investigation’s own task group under one team.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III said the prevailing culture of violence and impunity in the country remains a serious challenge to the Marcos administration.

“Let’s put an end to this culture of impunity. The government should create a safe environment for journalists and the rest of our citizens,” Pimentel said in a statement.

Las Piñas Mayor Imelda Aguilar said the killing of Lapid was a “direct attack on press freedom and curtails people’s right to truth.”

The city government vowed justice for the victim’s family.

The Commission on Human Rights, which launched its own probe, asked the Marcos administration to “ensure a safe and unimpaired media environment.” – Neil Jayson Servallos, Ralph Edwin Villanueva, Paolo Romero, Elizabeth Marcelo, Romina Cabrera

PERCY LAPID

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