MANILA, Philippines – Veteran journalist Roy Mabasa said his late brother, broadcaster Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa, was only doing his job as a commentator when he dissected various issues and became critical of personalities in the process.
“Wala kong nakikitang mali sa pagiging kritikal because that is the role of the media. That is the nature of being a commentator. ‘Di ka naman puwedeng maging commentator kung didilaan mo lang ang mga puwet ng nakaupo sa gobyerno,” Mabasa said during a Rappler Talk interview on Friday, October 7.
(I don’t see anything wrong with being critical because that is the role of the media. That is the nature of being a commentator. You cannot be a commentator if you’re just an ass-licker of those in government.)
Percy, a staunch critic of the former president Rodrigo Duterte and President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., was shot dead in Las Piñas on October 3. In his radio program, which was also streamed on his popular YouTube channel, Lapid often criticized the two administrations and its officials.
Mabasa added that journalists should talk about the issues the society should know about.
“Kaya ka nga tinawag na commentator para madiscuss mo, matalakay mo ‘yong mga issues na dapat talakayin ng bayan, at mabigyan mo ng mas makatotohanang ideya ang mga nakikinig sa ’yo,” the veteran journalist said.
(You’re called a commentator for you to discuss the issues that society should talk about and give your listeners factual ideas.)
On Friday, the Philippine National Police said they had already identified a person of interest in the killing of the popular radio commentator.
The slain journalist will be laid to rest on Sunday.
Mabasa is the second journalist to be killed under the new administration, after Rey Blanco in Negros Oriental last month.
According to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, Mabasa is the 197th journalist killed in the Philippines since 1986, or the democracy’s return. Most of the media workers slain in the country were radio journalists – at least 99 were killed, based on the NUJP’s number.
Watch the full Rappler Talk interview below: