MANILA, Nov 8 (Mabuhay) — The House of Representatives adopted on Monday a resolution condemning the senseless killing of veteran broadcaster Percival Mabasa, who is also known in the media industry as Percy Lapid, as it expressed grave concern for the safety and security of journalists in the country.

House Speaker Martin Romualdez (Facebook page photo)

House Resolution (HR) No. 489 was introduced by Speaker Martin G. Romualdez, House Majority Leader and Zamboanga City Rep. Manuel Jose “Mannix” M. Dalipe and House Minority Leader and 4Ps party-list Rep. Marcelino Libanan.

“Local and international journalists were outraged and deeply saddened by the killing of Mr. Percival ‘Percy Lapid’ C. Mabasa, and they considered this dastardly act as an attack to the freedom of speech and of the press that must be stopped in order to save and maintain democracy,” the resolution read.

“Now, therefore, be it resolved by the House of Representatives, to condemn in the strongest possible terms, the senseless killing of veteran broadcaster Percival ‘Percy Lapid’ C. Mabasa and to express grave concern for the safety and security of journalists in the country,” it added.

Mabasa, who was known for his advocacy against abuses and irregularities in his commentary program “Lapid Fire” in YouTube, was brazenly gunned down in front of his house in Sta. Cecilia Village, Las Piñas City on Oct. 3.

He was born on March 14, 1959 in Tuguegarao to parents Carmelita Lapid Carag and Marcelo “Mars” Mabasa Sr., a journalist and radio commentator who inspired Mabasa to venture into the broadcast industry.

According to the resolution, Mabasa served in the broadcast industry for four decades as a radio broadcaster and commentator; host of numerous programs in different radio channels such as DZME, DWBC, DZRM, DWIZ, DZRJ and DWBL; columnist for Hataw at JSY Publications; and one of the directors of the National Press Club of the Philippines from 2008-2010.

It noted that before his untimely death, Mabasa’s commentary program, which was also aired by DWBL 1242 radio station, got 119 million views since it premiered on May 8, 2019.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. himself ordered an investigation into the killing, and a special investigation task group was later created by the National Capital Region Police Office of the Philippine National Police, the resolution noted.

Following Marcos’ lead, the House of Representatives, under the leadership of Romualdez, was able to raise PHP 5 million in voluntary contributions as reward money for any anyone who can provide information that will lead to the arrest of those responsible for the crime.

On account of such reward money, self-confessed gunman Joel Escorial surrendered on Oct. 17, 2022, and provided authorities with information on his alleged accomplices in the conspiracy to kill Mabasa.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday announced the filing of murder complaints against suspended Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Gerald Bantag, BuCor Deputy Security Officer Ricardo Zulueta, and several persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) linked to the death of Lapid and the supposed middleman in the case earlier identified as Jun or Crisanto Villamor.

The PDLs facing murder complaints were identified as Mario Alvarez, Joseph Georfo, Christian Ramac, Ricky Salgado, Ronnie Dela Cruz and Joel Reyes. (MNS)