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.
Hindi dapat palampasin ang pagpaslang kay Ka Percy; dapat agad maihain ang hustisya sa pangyayaring ito—at sa marami pang insidente ng pagpatay sa ating mga journalists. Sa isang lipunang tunay na malaya, dapat walang puwang sa karahasan at panggigipit sa ating mamamahayag.
— Leni Robredo (@lenirobredo) October 4, 2022
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.”
— John Nery (@jnery_newsstand) October 4, 2022
They shot dead broadcaster Percy Lapid tonight in Las Pinas, as he was heading to work for his Lapid Fire program.
A scan of his commentaries reveals tough criticism of officials of the Marcos govt and the previous admin: Duterte Bato, Badoy. Let us condemn this murder! pic.twitter.com/jbDESiOci8
— inday espina varona (@indayevarona) October 3, 2022
It is unbelievable that another journalist died. In my country. Stop the bloodlust. Stop the killings.
— Lian Buan (@lianbuan) October 3, 2022
Nothing but rage for the killing of Percy Lapid. A journalist critical of the government slain within the first 100 days of the Marcos administration. Sobrang nakakagalit.
— Mark Famatigan (@markyscrackling) October 3, 2022
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.”
What's even more worrisome than the shrinking value of the peso is the shrinking value of human life in our country.
— Gideon Lasco (@gideonlasco) October 3, 2022
Writer Jerry Gracio said that in a democratic society, “no one should be killed, even if you are a critic of this government.”
Sa isang demokratikong lipunan, wala dapat pinapatay, kahit kritiko ka ng gobyerno.
— Jerry B. Grácio (@JerryGracio) October 4, 2022
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.”
Maraming salamat Ka Percy sa pagtindig para sa katotohanan. Your voice inspired Filipinos to stand up for what is right. Rest in Peace, Ka Percy. #JusticeForPercyLapid
— Sonny Trillanes IV (@TrillanesSonny) October 4, 2022
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.