MANILA, Oct 4 (Mabuhay) –Various sectors condemned Tuesday the killing of radio broadcaster and columnist Percy Lapid, a critic of extra judicial killings and red tagging of opposition figures during the Duterte and Marcos administration.

The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFOMS), former Vice President Leni Robredo, and Senator Robin Padilla issued separate statements in light of the killing of Lapid, real name Percival Mabasa, who was shot dead by two unidentified motorcycle riding gunmen in Barangay Talon Dos, Las Piñas City on Monday night.

“We at the Presidential Task Force denounce the murder of Percy Lapid and send our deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of the victim.  Rest assured that the PTFOMS will not rest until the perpetrators of this heinous crime are brought to justice,” PTFOMS said in a statement.

“There is absolutely no justification for murder. The PTFOMS will presume the killing to be work related as a matter of procedure so that the full might of the Presidential task force will be brought to bear against the perpetrators,” it added.

Robredo extended condolences to Lapid’s family and lamented that his death is a big loss for a nation overwhelmed with disinformation and misinformation efforts.

“Nakikiramay ako sa lahat ng nagmamahal kay Percy Lapid. Malaking kawalan ang kaniyang boses, tapang, at pananaw sa panahong bumabangga tayo sa tahasang panlilinlang sa taumbayan,” she said.

“Hindi dapat palampasin ang pagpaslang kay Ka Percy; dapat agad maihain ang hustisya sa pangyayaring ito—at sa marami pang insidente ng pagpatay sa ating mga journalists.  Sa isang lipunang tunay na malaya, dapat walang puwang ang karahasan at panggigipit sa ating mamamahayag,” she added.

Padilla, on the other hand, said the country is no place for shameless killing of anybody, journalists included.

“I strongly condemn the fatal shooting of broadcaster Percy Lapid on Monday night. There is no place for crime, especially a brutal attack, be it a member of the media, a civilian, or a member of our uniformed personnel,” Padilla said.

“This murder of a mediaman is an attack on the right to freedom of expression that is enshrined in our Constitution. Even as I offer my sincere sympathy to the family and loved ones of Percy, I call on our authorities to apprehend the perpetrators and solve this dastardly crime as soon as possible,” Padilla, chairperson of the Senate public information and mass media panel, added.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) on Tuesday also called on the PNP to hold the perpetrators behind Lapid’s killing accountable.

The NUJP said Lapid was the second journalist killed under the Marcos administration, next to radio broadcaster Rey Blanco who was stabbed to death in Negros Oriental in September.

A special investigation task force has been created to look into the fatal shooting  Lapid, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Tuesday. It said an investigation is ongoing to identify the perpetrators and determine the motive behind the killing.

In a separate statement, National Capital Region Police Office chief Police Brigadier General Jonnel Estomo said he gave Las Piñas City Police chief Police Colonel Jaime Santos and the investigator 24 hours to solve the case.

“Likewise, I have given the investigator and the Chief of Police PCOL Jaime Santos, 24 hours to shed light on the matter and solve the case. We assure to provide an update as soon as available,’ he said.

In a statement on Facebook, the Lapid’s family expressed their grief and anger over the killing of the broadcaster, which they called “brutal and brazen.”

“We strongly condemn this deplorable crime; it was committed not only against Percy, his family, and his profession, but against our country, his beloved Philippines, and the truth,” they said. (MNS)