Philippines: Radio broadcaster killed in ambush

Radio commentator Percival Mabasa, also known as Percy Lapid, was shot to death in his vehicle in Las Piñas City on October 3. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), in condemning Lapid’s killing and calling on the authorities to conduct an immediate investigation to bring all perpetrators to justice.

Percy Lapid, the host of 'Lapid Fire' on DWBL radio, was shot dead on October 3. Credit: Facebook

Lapid, whose broadcasts were often critical of the Duterte and Marcos administrations, was killed by two armed and unidentified suspects outside BF Resort Village in Barangay (District) Talon Dos of Las Pinas City, in the southern part of Metro Manila.

Witnesses stated a first assailant hit the rear of Lapid’s vehicle with a white Toyota Fortuner, while a second assailant riding a motorcycle shot Lapid and fled.

The veteran broadcaster, host of ‘Lapid Fire’ on radio station DWBL 1242, was known to criticise the practice of red tagging, or the labelling of activists or organisations as supporters of communism, among other political issues including the historical distortion of Martial Law.

Lapid also expressed his concerns at the most recent incident of harassment against Manila Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar. Lapid’s last program aired on September 30.

Lapid is the second journalist to be killed under the Marcos Jr. administration, which assumed office on June 30, 2022. On September 18, Rey Blanco, a radio broadcaster for Power 102.1 DYRY RFM in Mabinay, Negros Oriental, was stabbed to death. The police have arrested one suspect on murder charges.

The Philippines has experienced a challenging environment for press freedom, with attacks against the media commonplace under the six-year term of the previous Duterte administration and not expected to improve under Marcos Jr.

The NUJP said: “We condole with Lapid's family, including his brother and veteran journalist Roy Mabasa. We call on the public to join us in condemning yet another murder of a journalist. We call on the Philippine National Police to hold the perpetrators accountable.”

IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “The brazen killing of Percy Lapid, an independent and critical journalist, displays the failure of the Filipino authorities to guarantee the safety of media workers. The IFJ demands a thorough investigation to ensure that justice is served to all perpetrators.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia - Pacific on ifj@ifj-asia.org

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

Twitter: @ifjasiapacific, on Facebook: IFJAsiaPacific and Instagram