Calls for justice mount over fatal shooting of veteran broadcaster in Las Piñas

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 4) — Calls for justice over the killing of radio broadcaster Percival Mabasa, also known as Percy Lapid, reverberated as colleagues and listeners recalled him as a fearless journalist.

Lapid, who was gunned down by two assailants in Las Piñas on Monday night, was the second journalist killed during the Marcos administration, said the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP).

A number of groups and people condemned the shooting, demanding accountability on the perpetrators.

“The killing shows that journalism remains a dangerous profession in the country,” NUJP said in a statement on Tuesday. “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 Presidential Task Force on Media Security said while it is too early to establish the motive behind the shooting, it will presume it is work-related, as a matter of procedure.

It added it will closely coordinate with law enforcement agencies, vowing to go after the gunmen behind the “senseless” killing.

The Philippine National Police earlier announced it created a special investigation task force to look into the shooting. The National Bureau of Investigation is also on the case, said Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla.

Meanwhile, a number of lawmakers issued statements of condemnation and expressed sympathies to Lapid's family. Among them is House Deputy Minority Leader Rep. France Castro who called on Congress and the Commission on Human Rights to launch their own probe.

Former Vice President Leni Robredo also denounced the incident, saying there is no room for violence against journalists in a free society.

Lapid was a staunch critic of the Marcos and Duterte administrations.

He hosted a news commentary program on DWBL 1242 called ‘Lapid Fire,’ where he delivered hard-hitting criticism of perceived abuses and irregularities by the government.