Just a week after the supposed middleman who brokered the hit on radio broadcaster Percy Mabasa (known as Percy Lapid) was found dead inside the national penitentiary, Senator Risa Hontiveros has called on the public to keep watch over Lapid’s case and called it “far from being solved”, citing reports that the slain broadcaster’s family has been receiving death threats.
Hontiveros visited Mabasa’s family and shared that the broadcaster’s children have been receiving anonymous messages on their social media accounts and even through their personal numbers, with one being told they “were next.”
The senator said she disagreed with the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s pronouncements that the case had been solved after one of the alleged hitmen, Joel Estorial, surrendered to authorities on the same day the broker was found dead inside the New Bilibid Prison.
“The circumstances surrounding the murder created more questions than answers. Hindi porke’t na-identify ang mga suspect ay tapos na ang kaso. (Just because the suspects have been identified does not mean the case is done. The case is far from solved,” the senator wrote in a statement.
“Paano nga din magiging solb na kung hanggang ngayon ay nakakatanggap ang pamilya ng pananakot? (How can it be solved if the family has been receiving threats until now?),” Hontiveros added.
The senator also cited an editorial in The Philippine Star that said Mabasa’s brother was told the broker had died of “night terrors” inside the prison. But the body was embalmed before an autopsy could be conducted, which would make toxicology testing for substances or diseases impossible as the body had already been contaminated with embalming fluids.
“The mastermind behind Percy’s death is still at large, so we must do all we can to provide the greatest possible protection to the entire family. I also appealed to the public not to let this case be silenced. Let’s not allow a brutal killing such as this to just be swept under the rug,” the senator added.
Many netizens voiced support for the senator’s statement and denounced the threats to Mabasa’s family.
“The family is still grieving the late Percy Lapid, how heartless and cruel people can be,” one commenter said.
“I admire your courage, senator. Are they not content that the head of the family is gone? Why do they need to involve the children who have not done anything against them? I can’t believe it. Killing is now becoming a trend against those who have the courage to speak out against the inefficiencies of the former and current governments,” another wrote.