MANILA, Oct 6 (Mabuhay) — Police investigators are now checking recorded programs of veteran radio host Percival Mabasa, more popularly known as “Percy Lapid”, for possible leads on the motive behind his killing in Las Piñas City.
“That includes backtracking on the programs he had before the ambush, topics, so we know what the victim is up to with regard to his job. That is one of the things that the investigators consider and backtrack,” said Col. Restituto Arcangel, deputy district for operations of the Southern Police District (SPD), in a radio interview Wednesday.
Arcangel said probers are looking at footage of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the area that may help identify Lapid’s assailants.
He, however, said they do not have any witnesses yet who can shed light on the case.
SPD director, Col. Kirby John Kraft, said probers under the Special Investigation Task Group are also looking at several personalities that are the subject of Lapid’s hard-hitting program “Lapid on Fire” in the ongoing investigation.
“We are yet to arrive at a point where we could say a certain personality is considered a person of interest in the case. However, we are looking at all the personalities mentioned in his program,” he added.
Kraft said he personally talked to Lapid’s younger brother, Roy Mabasa, a former president of the National Press Club, regarding the case.
“I told his brother Roy Mabasa and asked for help, maybe he knows who is known to be harboring hatred toward the victim,” the official said.
He said probers are also coordinating with the family to see if the victim has received death threats before the ambush.
PNP chief, Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr., said he visited the victim’s wake and assured his family that the police is sparing no effort in hunting the culprits behind the incident.
“We are maximizing our efforts to get more pieces of evidence and testimonies in order to shed light on this incident and facilitate the immediate arrest of the perpetrators,” Azurin said.
The PNP said they are now coordinating with the family of Lapid and his work colleagues for more relevant information.
“While his work as a radio commentator involves discussion of critical issues, we cannot fully conclude as of this time that the motive is work-related, but we are exploring all possible angles as of this time. We assure our media colleagues that the PNP prioritizes the security of those working in the media industry. The PNP Media Vanguards will directly oversee the course of investigation of this incident,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said the government takes the murder case of Lapid seriously.
“We guarantee the Lapid family that the government does not turn a blind eye to this heinous act. Under the swift response of the PNP, an in-depth investigation of the said atrocious crime has already moved forward through a Special Investigation Task Force established by the PNP-Las Piñas City hours after the unfortunate incident,” said DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. in a separate statement
He added the DILG and PNP commit to delivering justice to the family of Lapid and bring the suspect/s behind bars to answer for their crime.
“The Department stands by its mandate of protecting the Filipino people towards a more peaceful and orderly Philippines including the hard-working media practitioners across the country who have been partners of the government in information dissemination and most importantly, in serving as watchdogs for the benefit of the public,” he added.
Lapid was ambushed by two assailants onboard a motorcycle at around 8:30 p.m. Monday at the gate of BF Resort along Aria Street, Barangay Talon 2, Las Piñas City. (MNS)