Mabasa killers served warning

Surrender peacefully or end up on a gurney.

Metro Manila police chief P/Brig. Gen. Jonnel Estomo on Saturday issued a stern warning to the killers of broadcaster Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa that they could suffer the same fate as an alleged gun-for-hire.

Estomo was referring to an “encounter” Friday in Barangay Payatas that resulted in the killing by the police of one John Philip Rodriguez, alias “Mata,” in Barangay Payatas, Quezon City.

The police said Rodriguez, allegedly a hitman, chose to shoot it out with policemen who flagged his motorcycle after allegedly seeing a gun tucked in his belt.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos has released a CCTV image of the alleged gunman on foot before hitching a motorcycle ride to kill Mabasa, a hard-hitting broadcaster, on 3 October.

Probers are looking at CCTV footage, at least 18 of them, to identify the gunmen.

Meanwhile, newly appointed Office of the Press Secretary officer-in-charge and undersecretary Cheloy Garafil has joined the call for justice for the killing of Mabasa.

“I hope the truth will come out and justice will be served,” Garafil told reporters when she personally visited Lapid’s wake at the Manila Memorial in Parañaque City on Friday.

“The police will play a major role in this and I understand that the case has been developing with the identification of the killers,” said Garafil, who was a journalist before she entered government service.
Police on Friday said the reward money for anyone who can help identify the killers of Mabasa had been raised to P1.5 million.

With Michelle Guillang

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