Police seize clearer picture of suspected gunman in Percy Lapid slay

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 6) — Authorities have seized a clearer picture of the suspected gunman in the fatal shooting of veteran radio broadcaster Percival Mabasa, popularly known as Percy Lapid.

PCol. Restituto Arcangel, District Director for Operations of Metro Manila' Southern Police District, told CNN Philippines' The Source on Thursday that they found a picture with a clearer angle of one of the motorcycle-riding men involved in Lapid’s shooting after combing through various camera footages.

However, he said they are still in the process of identifying the assailants.

"We have a clearer picture doon sa pinapaniwalaang (of the suspected) gunman before the incident," Arcangel said.

"We believe 'yun ang bumaril sa kanya kasi 'yun ang nasa backride ng motor," he noted. "Meron kaming klarong picture noon although naka-face mask siya, we can generally describe kung ano ang feature niya."

[Translation: We believe the gunman was riding at the back seat of the motorcycle. We have a clearer picture of him. Although he was wearing a face mask, we can generally describe his features.]

Arcangel said some CCTV footages from the area traversed by the suspected perpetrators were able to capture them in their clearer form, while the footage from the dashboard camera inside Lapid's vehicle showed the two seemingly waiting for the victim, moments before he was gunned down.

"Yung nakuha ng dashcam before mangyari ang insidente, inaabangan siya, and then yung kuha ng camera sa sasakyan ng victim the second before binaril siya ay nagmamatch," he said.

"Yung kuha rin ng CCTV na nakuha namin along sa ruta ng biktima parehas din at would confirm na yung nakuha sa dashcam ay kaparehas nung mas malinaw na picture na nakuha ng CCTV sa mga lugar kung saan dumaan ang mga suspect," Arcangel added.

[Translation: The dashcam featured the suspects waiting for him, and it matched the footage showing what happened before he was shot. A CCTV clip found in the route of the victim also matched what was in the dashcam, and gave clues about the areas where the suspects passed through.]

Lapid, a critic of the current administration and of former President Rodrigo Duterte, was shot dead in his vehicle in Las Piñas City on Monday night after apparently receiving death threats.

The Philippine National Police has already formed its own task force to probe the killing. The police's forensic unit is also cross-matching two bullet cartridges found at the crime scene.

The Commission on Human Rights has also launched its investigation into the incident.

READ: Probes launched into killing of broadcaster Percy Lapid 

Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin "Benhur" Abalos Jr. is offering ₱500,000 for information on Lapid's killers.

READ: DILG chief offers ₱500,000 for info on Percy Lapid killers 

Lapid's family is appealing to the Marcos administration to not let the broadcaster's death be simply added to the statistics without any form of resolution.

Since 1986, nearly 200 journalists have already been killed in the country, the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines said.