By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora
Veteran broadcaster Percival C. Mabasa
MANILA – Several embassies on Tuesday joined Canada and the Netherlands in calling for justice for the slain veteran broadcaster Percival Mabasa, who was killed by two unidentified assailants while on his way to work on Oct. 3.
The British Embassy in Manila said it fully supports Canada and the Netherlands’ statement, which earlier expressed grave concern over the journalist’s brutal killing.
“(The UK Embassy in Manila) fully supports the statement of the Media Freedom Coalition. We urge the Filipino authorities to ensure that the perpetrators of the killing of Percival Mabasa are brought to justice and to create a safe environment for all journalists in the Philippines,” it said.
In separate tweets, the European Union in the Philippines and the Embassies of Denmark and France also expressed solidarity with Mabasa’s kin.
“France reaffirms its resolute, unwavering commitment to the freedom of the press, freedom of speech and protection of journalists,” the French Embassy in Manila said.
Canada and the Netherlands, co-chairs of the Media Freedom Coalition, in a joint statement, warned that journalist killings can “create a chilling effect that curtails the ability of journalists to report news freely & safely.”
It welcomed the launch of an investigation into Mabasa’s slay and at the same time urged authorities to “take concrete steps to ensure not only that the perpetrators are brought to justice, but to create a safe environment for journalists to carry out their work without fear for their lives and safety.”
Mabasa, widely known as Percy Lapid, hosts the show “Lapid Fire” on radio station DWBL and is the older brother of veteran journalist and former National Press Club president Roy Mabasa.
The bereaved family said they are “deeply saddened and angered” by the brutal killing of the hard-hitting broadcaster and demanded that the perpetrators be held liable.
“We strongly condemn this deplorable crime; it was committed not only against Percy, his family, and his profession, but against our country, his beloved Philippines, and the truth,” a family statement posted by Roy Mabasa read.
“Percy was beloved by many and highly respected by peers, fans and foes alike. His bold and sharp commentaries cut through the barrage of fake news over the air waves and on social media. We demand that his cowardly assassins be brought to justice,” the family said. (PNA)