Radio commentator shot dead in Las Piñas

CMFR/PHILIPPINES — Two unidentified men shot and killed a veteran radio commentator on 3 October 2022 in Las Piñas, Metro Manila.

DWBL radio commentator Percy Lapid, whose real name is Percival Mabasa, was on his way home to do an online broadcast for his radio program at around 8:30 p.m. when the incident happened. 

According to the Las Piñas police, Lapid was on board his sports utility vehicle (SUV) when the suspects tailed him. One of the suspects, also in an SUV,  rear-ended the victim’s car while another, onboard a motorcycle, shot him two times. Both suspects fled to an unknown direction.

Lapid hosted the commentary program “Lapid Fire” on dwBL 1242, aired weekdays from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. with simulcast on Facebook which extended until 12 a.m. The broadcaster was known for his hard-hitting commentaries. 

Prior to his killing, Lapid  had commented on the corruption cases against former Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and now Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna before the Office of the Ombudsman. Lapid also commented on the issues of red-tagging and fake news, online trolls and historical revisionism, and the Philippine offshore gaming operations, among others. He was critical of the policies and programs of former President Rodrigo Duterte and now President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

The police have created a special task force to investigate the shooting.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines condemned the killing and stressed that, “journalism remains a dangerous profession in the country. 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.”

Lapid was the second journalist killed under Marcos Jr.’s administration.

On September 18, dyRY RFM broadcaster Rey Blanco was stabbed to death while visiting  a friend’s house in Manibay town, Negros Oriental. Negros Oriental is 640 kilometers south of Manila.

The suspect, Charles Amada, surrendered to the authorities after the incident. Amada said in a Digicast Negros report, that Blanco “shaming” his family on the former’s radio program prompted him to stab the victim.

If proven work-related, Lapid’s killing will be the 177th case of journalists killed in the line of work since 1986. Blanco’s was the 176th.