Family and various groups expressed condemnation over the night ambush of veteran and hard-hitting broadcaster, Percival Mabasa in Las Pińas, last Monday, October 3.
Mabasa, also known as Percival Lapid was the second broadcaster killed under the near 100-day old Marcos Jr administration. Last September, broadcaster Renato “Rey” Blanco was stabbed to death. The 63-year-old was gunned down by an unidentified motorcycle tandem.
He was a fierce critic of former Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, particularly the former leader’s drug war crusade that killed thousands in the process as well as its red-tagging campaign against opposition and activists. Mabasa was also an outspoken critic of Duterte’s predecessor, Marcos Jr. over its policies and selected officials as well as the misinformation campaign, which reports claimed helped boost the son and namesake of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. popularity among Filipino voters in the last 2022 national election.
Mabasa’s family called his killing a “deplorable crime” and demanded his cowardly assassins be brought to justice.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), in a statement said that Mabasa’s killing showed that “journalism remains a dangerous profession” in the country. It added 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’.
Meanwhile, various sectors including the biggest union of campus journalists, the College Editors Guild of the Philippines and former vice president Leni Robredo expressed their condolences to the family of Percival ‘Percy Lapid’ Mabasa.
Robredo extended his condolences to Lapid’s family and lamented that his death was a big loss for a nation overwhelmed with disinformation and misinformation efforts. ‘The killing of Ka Percy should not go unpunished. Justice must be served, as well as to other journalists who were also killed. A nation genuinely free must be free of violence and shakedown against journalists’ she added.
The International Federation of Journalists also condemned the killing of Mabasa and called on the Marcos Jr government to investigate the case. It said that Mabasa is the latest in a long list of journalists killed in the country’.
According to a report by international watchdog Reporters Without Borders, there are at least 187 journalists have been killed in the past 35 years in the Philippines, these includes the 32 media workers killed in a single incident in 2009 infamously called the Ampatuan Massacre.