Image shows possible suspect in radioman’s slay
CHRISTIAN CROW MAGHANOY
The Manila Times
A SLIGHTLY blurry image from a CCTV clip of the “person of interest” in the ambush of a veteran radio broadcaster Percival Mabasa was released Friday by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the National Capital Region Police (NCRPO). In a press briefing at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City, Interior Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr., presented the image which was extracted from the CCTV footage acquired by the Las Piñas City Police. It shows a masked man wearing a red polo shirt over a white T-shirt, blue pants and a waist pouch. Abalos urged the man in the image to surrender, warning that hiding only puts him at risk, because those who masterminded the killing might be planning to get rid of him as well. Abalos also offered a cash reward of P1,500,000 to people with information leading to the killer’s arrest. Mabasa, more popularly known as Percy Lapid, who had a program on DWBL 1242 radio, was shot dead by two men in Sta. Cecilia Village, Las Piñas City, on Monday. Investigators said the suspects fled on a motorcycle and a black Toyota Innova with license plate NGS 8294. Abalos said the Philippine National Police’s AntiCybercrime Group, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, and National Bureau of Investigation were doing their own inquiry into the Mabasa killing. “Kung tutulong ang publiko ay mas mabilis nating matatapos ito (With the public’s help, we can solve the case faster),” he said. “Sana malaman ng taong ito na kumalat na ang larawan mo sa buong Pilipinas lahat titingin sa iyo. Mag-isip isip ka na. Sumurrender ka na (I hope this person realizes that his picture has been exposed all over the Philippines. Everyone will be looking for you. Think about it. Surrender now),” Abalos said. Anyone with information on the suspect can contact any of the following numbers: 09474622859 or 09985987928 for Smart, and 88027935 or 85258403 for PLDT subscribers. Asked for updates on the possible motive of the killing, Special Investigation Task Force Cdr. Col. Restituto Archangel only said the investigation is ongoing. Las Piñas Police chief Col. Jaime Santos explained that his unit was late in responding to the incident because of a manpower shortage. He said the city police force has only 400 officers. In a separate statement, NCRPO acting regional director BGen. Jonnel Estomo vowed to start a dialogue with journalists, broadcasters and media practitioners on their security concerns. “We acknowledge the risks involved in the job of our media friends, hence we are duty-bound to protect them,” Santos said. As part of the hunt for Mabasa’s killers, police checkpoints will be set up in Metro Manila to pull over riders of motorcycles and drivers of vehicles without license plates.