Netizens expressed outrage and called for justice after reports confirmed that broadcaster Percy Mabasa, also known as Percy Lapid, was shot dead while on his way to work Monday night.
Lapid was shot twice inside his SUV by two unidentified gunmen while driving to BF Resort Las Piñas, where he was set to record his online broadcast.
Lapid, known to his listeners as Ka Percy, was the host of the radio commentary show Lapid Fire and was known for his critical views of former President Rodrigo Duterte’s and current President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr’s administrations.
His YouTube channel has over 200,000 subscribers. His last Lapid Fire video was posted on Facebook Monday night shortly before his death.
One of Lapid’s final episodes saw the veteran broadcaster tackle former anti-communist insurgency task force spokesperson Lorraine Badoy’s continued red-tagging of individuals. Last week, the Supreme Court issued a stern warning to Badoy over alleged threats she made against Manila judge Marlo Malagar, who dismissed a petition by the Department of Justice to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) as terrorists and accused the judge of being a “friend and defender” of communist rebels.
Percy Lapid and #JusticeForPercyLapid immediately trended on social media as netizens and fellow journalists denounced his killing.
Former Vice President Leni Robredo said that Lapid’s death was a loss to the country’s fight against widespread deception and called out the widespread killing of journalists in the Philippines.
“We should not let Ka Percy’s killing slide, and justice must be served swiftly — as well as to the deaths of many other journalists. In a truly free society, there should be no room for violence and intimidation against members of the press,” Robredo wrote in Filipino.
Veteran journalists Inday Espina-Varona and John Nery also called for the condemnation of Lapid’s murder. Nery said the broadcaster’s killing must not go “unchallenged, unsolved, unpunished.”
Columnist Gideon Lasco said the one thing more worrisome than the shrinking value of the peso “is the shrinking value of human life in our country.”
Writer Jerry Gracio said that in a democratic society, “no one should be killed, even if you are a critic of this government.”
Political consultant Jose Antonio Custodio pointed out that Lapid’s murder in Metro Manila, “a national figure with an international following coming from the Filipino diaspora,” showed this was impunity at its worst.
Former senator Sonny Trillanes thanked Lapid for “standing up for the truth.”
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said that Lapid is the second journalist to be killed under the Marcos administration, the first being radio broadcaster Rey Blanco, who was stabbed to death in Negros Oriental on September 18. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. took his oath of office in June this year.
In 2021, the Philippines was named the 7th most dangerous country in the world for journalists. The Committee to Protect Journalists recorded 87 journalist killings in the country between 1992 and July 2021.