Conviction in Percy Lapid killing, mastermind still at large

A regional court sentenced self-confessed gunman Joel Escorial to eight years and eight months or up to 16 years in prison in the case of murdered journalist Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa. Mabasa, a vocal critic of the previous government, was killed in Las Piñas in October 2022. Escorial asked for his sentence to be reduced from murder to homicide due to his confession in August 2023.

The killing of Lapid underlined the weaknesses of the Philippine judicial system and persistent impunity in the country. Escorial also implicated the former head of the Bureau of Corrections, Gerald Bantag, as the mastermind of the crime. Bantag remains at large despite an arrest warrant.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) described the investigation into the Lapid case as “incomplete,” as the mastermind Bantag has not yet been prosecuted. HRW also emphasized that the Philippine government should take more measures to discard its reputation as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists.


Photo © Raffy Lerma

weitere Beiträge