December 2, 2022

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday admitted that it was not closing its doors on the possibility of having a bigger or more powerful mastermind, than suspended Bureau of Correction (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag, in the murder of broadcaster Percival Mabasa or popularly known as Percy Lapid.

“Bukas pa rin naman ang PNP kung saka-sakaling during the conduct of the preliminary investigation and sa actual trial at maisampa na officially sa korte itong kaso na ito at may lalabas pong ebidensiya pa na magtuturo sa iba pang tao na may kinalaman sa dalawang kaso na ito ay maaari naman po tayong magsampa ng supplemental complaint,” Police Col. Jean Fajardo, PNP spokesman said in a television interview on GMA’s Unang Hirit.

(The PNP is still open if ever during the conduct of the preliminary investigation and the actual trial and the case is officially charged in the courts. If evidence comes out that points to other people involved in the two cases, we can file a supplemental complaint)

Fajardo made the statement after being asked to react to remarks by Roy Mabasa, Lapid’s brother who, in another television interview, said that his family wanted to know whether former president Rodrigo Duterte was among the 160 persons of interest being considered by the PNP.

“Sa amin lang pag-iisip ay gusto lang rin namin malaman kung sino ba ‘yung 160 persons of interest na ‘yun. Kasama ba diyan si Ginoong Duterte?” he said.

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(We thought about it and we wanted to know who were the 160 persons of interest and if Mr. Duterte was included)

Mabasa made the remark saying that if the basis of the PNP investigation were the people who were criticized by Lapid in his program, they thought that among the videos being investigated would include the former president.

Justice Secretary Crispin Remulla said the investigation into the Percy Lapid slay “started and ended” with the identification of Bantag as the mastermind and the filing of murder charges against him and his alleged accomplices in and out of the correction facility.