Amnesty’s Wilnor Papa, Activism and Mobilization Manager, on the killing of Percy Lapid, second journalist to be killed under President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. administration.
“The killing of radio commentator Percy Lapid tragically demonstrates, once again, that the Philippines remain one of the most dangerous countries in Southeast Asia and globally for its failure to protect journalists and defend human rights and freedom of the press. This incident bears all the hallmarks of an extrajudicial execution and an attempt to silence voices critical of the government.”
“At least two journalists have been killed since the new administration took power this year, but the government of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has shown no willingness to confront the scourge of impunity that has plagued the country for years. These killings are alarming and paint a frightening picture of what the new administration holds for journalists in the country.”
“Before Marcos Jr. marks his first 100 days in office, Amnesty International Philippines is urging him to take urgent action to reverse this trend and stop the disgraceful business as usual treatment of activists and members of the media.”
“States have an obligation to investigate the killings in a prompt, thorough, independent and impartial manner. Eliminating impunity is crucial to achieving a safe environment for journalists and human rights defenders alike to send a clear message that these acts will not be tolerated. The international community must not relent in keeping pressure on the human rights situation in the Philippines as well, especially as it shows no signs of improvement following the last administration.”
On 3 October, Percival Mabasa, also known as Percy Lapid, was gunned down inside his vehicle in Las Piñas City, Metro Manila. Mabasa’s family in a statement called for justice saying that the family strongly condemns the killing, “his bold and sharp commentaries cut through the barrage of fake news over the airwaves and social media,” his brother, Roy Mabasa shared.
According to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), Mabasa is the second journalist to be killed under President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. The first case was reported on 18 September, after radio broadcaster, Rey Blanco, was stabbed to death in Mabinay, Negros Oriental.