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NBI not discounting possibility of a more powerful mastermind in Percy Lapid slay

The National Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday said it is still considering the possibility that there may be a more powerful mastermind than suspended Bureau of Correction (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag behind the killing of broadcaster Percy Lapid.

“We are not discounting that possibility na bukod pa kay Director General Bantag na merong puwede na ma-implicate sa kasong ito (that aside from Director General Bantag, there would be someone else who would be implicated in this case),” NBI supervising agent Atty. Eugene Javier said in an interview in GMA News’ Unang Balita.

Javier added that they have been receiving intelligence reports about another supposed mastermind, but he said he cannot divulge this information which has yet to be verified.

“We have to understand that Director General Bantag mismo has the rank of undersecretary. It is only logical na mas mataas pa sa kanya (has a higher rank than him). Then he should be very powerful,” Javier said.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla however on Tuesday said he believes that there are no more individuals behind the alleged masterminds of the killing of Lapid.

“Sa tingin ko ay wala na (I don’t think there’s anymore),” he said in a message to reporters.

'Clear evidence'

In a separate interview on Unang Balita, Lapid’s brother Roy Mabasa said the evidence laid out by authorities in the investigation against Bantag is clear.

Quoting Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla, Mabasa said the investigators are still working on the remaining 5% of the investigation.


“Hindi namin sana gusto na titigil lang ito diyan kay Bantag. Kung may nalalabing 5%, sana'y patuloy pa rin saliksikin ito at malantad kung sino talaga ang mga taong nasa likod niyan,” he said.

(We don’t want the investigation to end on Bantag. If there is a remaining 5%, we hope that it would still be investigated and expose the people behind the killing.)

Remulla said on Monday that the case was "95% closed" but that they are still working on the remaining 5%.

Radio show

Mabasa said Lapid discussed Bantag in his online radio program at least three times. Lapid was allegedly calling out Bantag for having an expensive mansion and cars.

Based on information from Lapid’s listeners, Mabasa said Bantag was dubbed as “Cinderella” in BuCor.

Two weeks ago, Mabasa said someone reached out to them saying that Bantag wants to talk to the family of Lapid, whose real name is Percival Mabasa, to clarify the allegations against him.


Mabasa also said Bantag offered to perform a ritual at Lapid’s grave.

“Ito kasing si Bantag ay taga-Mountain Province, so gagawa raw siya ng isang ritwal doon sa libingan ng aking kapatid (Bantag is from the Mountain Province, so he said he will perform a ritual at the grave of my brother),” he said.

On Monday, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the NBI filed murder complaints against Bantag and others in relation to the killing of Lapid.

Lapid, a hard-hitting radio commentator, was shot dead in Las Piñas City, on October 3. —KG, GMA Integrated News