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Remulla: Alleged middleman in Percy Lapid slay dead at NBP

The New Bilibid Prison inmate who allegedly acted as "a middleman" in the plot to kill slain broadcaster Percy Lapid has died, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said on Thursday afternoon. 

“Nakita namin, totoo nga na namatay. May namatay na tao. So immediately it’s really the NBI and the autopsy that’s very important,” Remulla told reporters.

[We saw that there was someone who died. So immediately, it’s really the NBI and the autopsy that’s very important.]

When asked how the inmate was connected to Lapid, Remulla clarified that it was an “alleged middleman.” He said he did not know the full story yet.

“Alleged middleman. Hindi ko talaga alam ang storya niya, no. Alam ko lang, naabutan ko lang talaga, the gunman pointed out to some people. There are six of them,” Remulla said.

[Alleged middleman. I don’t know the full story. All I know is that the gunman pointed out some people and there were six of them.]

According to Saleema Refran’s report on “24 Oras”, Lapid's brother Roy Mabasa, expressed dismay over the reported death of the alleged middleman.

He said “someone must be held accountable.”

“Ito’y nagpapatunay na mayroong malawakang sabwatan na nangyayari dito sa pagpatay sa aking kapatid,” said Mabasa, who's also a journalist.

(This proves that there is a massive conspiracy going on to kill my brother.)

Mabasa said the development would be a “stumbling block in the progress of the case.”

“Saan na aabot ‘yung kaso kung walang middleman na magtuturo du’n sa mastermind? Ilang araw na po nating pinananawagan na protektahan lahat ng taong may kinalaman sa kasong ito,” Mabasa said.

(Where will the case go if there is no middleman to teach the mastermind? We have been calling for the protection of all the people involved in this case.)

“Subalit ito nga biglang nag-announce DOJ na patay na pala ‘yung nasa kustodiya ng isa sa mga ahensya sa ilalim nila. Dapat may mananagot sa ganito,” he added.

(Now the DOJ suddenly announced that the person in the custody of one of its agencies is dead. Someone should be held accountable for this.)

GMA News is still trying to get comment from the DOJ, the New Bilibid Prison, and the Philippine National Police.

Percy Lapid, whose real name was Percival Mabasa, was shot dead by two men while he was on his way home in Las Piñas City on October 3.

He was the host of online broadcast program "Percy Lapid Fire" at DWBL 1242 and a columnist for Hataw

Joel Escorial, the alleged gunman, surrendered to the police on Tuesday. He identified his accomplices as Israel Dimaculangan, Edmund Dimaculangan, and Orlando.

The Philippine National Police has filed murder complaints against Escorial and the others. 

Remulla said the authorities would open the autopsy to medico-legal experts.

“If you can have an independent witness like Dr. Raquel Fortun to look at the autopsy itself, so much the better. So we will open it to other medico-legal experts to find out,” Remulla said.

He said the alleged middleman was 42-years-old.

“Sa National Bilibid Prison, sa prison hospital. Doon namatay, sa prison hospital. O, kaya doon siya dinala. That’s where he was pronounced dead,” Remulla said.

(At the National Bilibid Prison, the prison hospital. He died there, at the prison hospital. Or that's where he was brought. That's where he was pronounced dead.) 


At a press conference, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos said he was disappointed with the death of the alleged middleman.

“Hiniyang na hinayang kami sa nangyaring ito. Sana maunawaan ng lahat na pinaghirapan ito ng kapulisiyahan ang kasong ito. Talagang galit kami. Galit na galit kami and we are demanding kung mangyari man ‘yun, ang talagang mananagot ay dapat managot,” Abalos said in a report on “24 Oras.”

(We regret this incident. I hope everyone understands that the police worked hard on this case. We are really angry. We are very angry and we are demanding that if that happens, those who are really responsible should be held liable.)

Meanwhile, Southern Police District director Police Brigadier General Kirby Kraft said that there was another middleman and is currently in jail.

“Dalawa po ang itong ating middleman na kumontak sa kanila at ‘yung isa nga po ay nandito po sa Bureau of Jail Management and Penology. So, sinecure po natin ‘yan,” Kraft said.

(There were two middlemen who contacted them and one of them is here at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology. We already secured him.)—With Mel Matthew Doctor/ RSJ/NB, GMA News