Gunmen killed a broadcaster in Las Pinas City on Monday, the second media worker killed under the three month-old Ferdinand Marcos Jr. presidency.
Percival Mabasa, known in the broadcast industry as Percy Lapid, was declared dead on arrival at a local hospital after two gunmen aboard a motorcycle fired at least two gunshots at the victim.
Described as a hard-hitting broadcaster, he was a critic of several Marcos and Rodrigo Duterte government officials.
Mabasa’s family said they are deeply saddened and angered by what they described as a “brutal and brazen killing of fearless broadcaster, father and husband, brother and friend.”
“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,” the family said.
They added that the victim was highly respected by his listeners as well as peers and foes alike.
“His bold and sharp commentaries cut through the barrage of fake news over the air waves and on social media,” they added.
Mabasa was host of Lapid Fire radio show that aired on DWBL. Previously, he was a broadcaster with radio station DWIZ.
On his YouTube channel, Mabasa commented on the dangers of red-tagging, including that of the recent harassment of Manila Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar who ruled against the government’s proscription of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army as terrorist organizations.
Mabasa also recently commented on the security risks of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators and on historical distortion of Martial Law.
The victim is the second journalist to be killed under Marcos Jr. administration.
Radio broadcaster Rey Blanco was stabbed to death in Mabinay, Negros Oriental last September 18.
Media and human rights organization also condemned the killing and joined Mabasa’s family in calling for justice.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said Mabasa’s murder shows that journalism remains a dangerous profession in the country.
“That the incident took place in Metro Manila indicates how brazen the perpetrators were, and how authorities have failed to protect journalists as well as ordinary citizens from harm,” the NUJP in a statement Tuesday said.
The Pinoy Media Center condemned Mabasa’s murder and called it another politically-motivated case of extrajudicial killing “to silence truth seekers and media practitioners.
The People’s Alternative Media Network also condemned the murder it said is part of a landscape of violence and intimidation against journalists and citizens.
The National Press Club and the organization of justice beat reporters also issued statements calling for justice for Mabasa.
Human rights group Karapatan joined in the calls for an independent investigation to hold the perpetrators accountable.
Karapatan also said it will join the condemnation rally organized by the NUJP at the Boy Scouts monument in Quezon City at six o’clock tonight. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)