Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin told the family of slain broadcaster Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa that the Office of the President (OP) will oversee the investigation of the case and assured them of assistance should they need it.

Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin commiserates with the family of slain journalist Percival ‘Percy Lapid’ Mabasa in Parañaque City on October 6, 2022. Mabasa was fatally shot by still unidentified gunmen riding a motorcycle on the evening of October 3, 2022. (Mark Balmores)

The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) said this after Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin visited Mabasa’s wake at the La Funeraria Paz in Sucat, Parañaque on Thursday morning, October 6.

According to the PTFoMS, Bersamin personally extended President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s condolences to Lisa Mabasa, the wife of the slain broadcaster, and the grieving family.

Bersamin assured Mabasa’s family that “the administration of President Marcos strongly condemns the killing of Mabasa” and that the OP would oversee the investigation.

“The Office of the President, through the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS), will oversee the investigation of this case,” the PTFoMS said.

“He also emphasized that the Philippine National Police (PNP) will not rest until the perpetrators of this crime are brought to justice,” it added.

Bersamin likewise said that President Marcos ordered to provide the Mabasa family with any assistance they needed.

“If they need security, you send everything to the family,” he said.

“Concerned talaga si Presidente sa (The President is greatly concerned about) media security,” he added.

PTFoMS officer-in-charge Perry Solis accompanied Bersamin during the visit.

On October 5, President Marcos assured the members of the media that he remains committed to upholding the right to free speech and press freedom and that government will remain open with them.

“Under my lead, we will support and protect the rights of the media as they efficiently perform their duty,” he said.

‘Senseless killing’

Meanwhile, the PTFoMS said it “strongly condemns the senseless killing” of Mabasa and sent its deepest condolences to the victim’s family, friends, and colleagues.

The group said it would work until those behind the act were brought to justice.

“Rest assured that the PTFoMS will not rest until the perpetrators of this heinous crime are brought to justice. There is absolutely no justification for murder,” it said.

Lapid was fatally shot by still unidentified gunmen riding a motorcycle along Aria Street in Las Piñas City on Monday evening, October 3.

While it is still too early to establish the exact motive behind the incident, the PTFoMS said it will presume the killing to be “work-related” as a matter of procedure so that “the full might of the Presidential task force will be brought to bear against the perpetrators.”

On the other hand, the PTFoMS reminded all media practitioners to report any incident of threat and harassment to prompt a thorough and swift investigation.

“The PTFoMS can immediately provide any media worker with real-time police protection if warranted,” it said.

The PTFoMS was created in 2016 through former president Rodrigo Duterte’s Administrative Order No. 1 to protect the life, liberty, and security of media workers in the country.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2022/10/07/office-of-the-president-to-oversee-probe-on-percy-lapids-killing-assistance-to-bereaved-family-assured/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=office-of-the-president-to-oversee-probe-on-percy-lapids-killing-assistance-to-bereaved-family-assured)