Self-confessed gunman: We were paid P550K to kill Percy

Veteran radio broadcaster Percy Mabasa, also known as Percy Lapid, was killed for P550,000 by a team of four allegedly hired by someone inside the National Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa.

This was disclosed by Joel Estorial, the 39-year-old confessed gunman, who surrendered to the police Monday.

Photo by Analy Labor

Estorial, wearing a bullet-proof vest and helmet, was presented by Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. in a press conference held at Camp Crame.

Feeling sorry for the crime, Estorial issued an extrajudicial confession in which he named his cohorts identified as brothers Edmon and Israel Dimaculangan and a certain Orly.

He said Orly served as the motorcycle driver during the mission while the Dimaculangan brothers served as backup.

Kasi ‘yung ano usapan, kung sino ang matapat doon kay Percy po, siya ang babaril eh nagkataon na tapat sa akin, sabi naman po (ni Orly) kapag hindi ko binaril, ako ang papatayin kaya binaril ko na po si Percy,” Estorial said.

Estorial, who said he fears for his life following the P6.5 million bounty for his head, turned over the gun he used to gun down Lapid on 3 October at the gate of BF Resort along Aria Street, Barangay Talon 2, Las Piñas City.

Lapid hosted a radio commentary show called “Lapid Fire,” criticizing fake news, red-tagging, and government corruption.

Abalos dismissed the possibility that Estorial is just a fall guy.

“The gun itself matched the slug, nag-match ang ballistics,” said Abalos, adding that Estorial also presented the torn red jacket he used in the crime.

Teary-eyed, Estorial said P140,000 was deposited in his bank account. He asked for forgiveness from the family of the slain broadcaster.

Sana mapatawad ako, di ko naman kagustuhan ‘yun, dala lang ng kahirapan,” he said.

Police did not provide the possible motive or identities of the Bilibid contact and mastermind pending further investigation.

Abalos presented the photos of the three other suspects named by Estorial and urged them to surrender.

Kayong magkapatid, ako’y nanawagan na rin. Sumuko na ang gunman. Mas mabuting sumuko na rin kayo dahil talagang naramdaman niya mismo na delikado ang buhay niya at kung ano na rin ang mangyari sa inyo,” he said.

Police provided little details about the four suspects except where they reside.

Estorial is a resident of Quezon City while the Dimaculangan brothers live in Las Piñas.

Justice chief smells conspiracy

The killing of the hard-hitting broadcaster does not end with the surrender of the gunman as there must be a conspiracy in it, according to Justice Secretary Crispin Remulla.

“…definitely a gunman is not the whole crime itself. It has to be vetted as a whole conspiracy probably. No gunman would be there without a conspiracy,” Remulla said in a press briefing at the DoJ headquarters in Manila.

Remulla said that he will ask Bureau of Corrections chief Gerald Bantag to explain Estorial’s claim that the order to kill Lapid came from the NBP.

“I will tell him to give me a report on this if he has any knowledge already. Because of what the gunman said and what the DG Bantag knows, we do not know if they are the same. We cannot presume that,” Remulla said.

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