Brother pays tribute to Percy Lapid: 'A truth-teller, a fierce commentator'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 6) —  For the younger brother of slain veteran radio broadcaster Percival Mabasa, known publicly as Percy Lapid, he will be remembered as a "truth-teller" and "fierce commentator" with a very strong conviction.

In an interview with CNN Philippines' The Source, former Manila Bulletin newsman Roy Mabasa expressed belief that Lapid was killed because of his profession.

"As a brother of a slain journalist, I believe that it's part of what he's doing as a commentator kasi napakatapang ng komentaryo ni Ka Percy (because Ka Percy had very strong commentaries)," he said.

"I'm backtracking all his past recordings, kinikilabutan ako sa mga dinidiscuss niya (I'm getting goosebumps from the things he used to discuss) which is a revelation of truth," he added.

Mabasa said no one in the family could stop his brother from continuing his line of work for more than three decades.

He went on to describe his "kuya" as someone "who does not mince words, and calls a spade a spade."

"Sa tinagal-tagal niya, sobrang daming libel cases na rin ang inabot ni Percy, kaya alam niya ang mga risk ng ginagawa niya," Mabasa shared. "Still, he held on at tinuloy-tuloy niya ang kanyang pagiging fierce commentator."

[Translation: With his many years in the profession, he faced numerous libel cases that's why he knew the risks of what he was doing. Still, he held on and continued to be a fierce commentator.]

Mabasa, who is also a former president of the National Press Club, said he was with his brother in a gathering about two weeks ago. He said he had no idea that would be their last time together.

"Percy used to be a professional singer, a band member," Mabasa recalled. "Magaling siyang kumanta, as in magaling (He is a really good singer), professional level. He can sing good ballads, folk songs...but he started his career in the broadcast industry in 1984. At the time, I was starting my training on radio."

Lapid 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.

He was shot dead in his vehicle in Las Piñas City on Monday night after apparently receiving death threats.

Authorities and the Commission on Human Rights are conducting separate investigations into the incident.

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