MANILA — The family of Percival Mabasa on Wednesday urged suspended prisons bureau chief Gerald Bantag to come out and clear his name in the murder of the veteran broadcaster.
According to Roy Mabasa, brother of the slain journalist, the family believes other people higher than Bantag might be involved in the murder case.
"Si Ginoong Bantag lumabas ilang linggo ang nakaraan. Sinasabi niya wala siyang kasalanan... Kung wala siyang kasalanan, sino pala ang may kasalanan?" he told ANC's "Headstart".
"Baka naman gusto niyang lumabas ngayon at magsabi kung sino talaga ang [may kasalanan]. Baka may nag-utos sa kaniya?
"Siya lang po ang makakapagbigay liwanag sa lahat ng ito. Maging kaming pamilya ay nangangapa rin sa dilim," he added.
(Mr. Mabasa surfaced a few weeks ago. He said he had nothing to do with the killing. So who is at fault? Perhaps he wants to come out know and reveal this. Maybe someone else gave him the order. Only he could shed light on this. Even our family is stumbling in the dark.)
Murder charges were filed against Bantag and deputy security officer Ricardo Zulueta over the killing of Mabasa.
Investigators believed Bantag ordered the Oct. 3 hit on Mabasa, who went by the name "Percy Lapid" on his radio program, due to the media man's continued exposés against him.
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla on Tuesday ruled out the involvement of other people in the killing of Mabasa. He insisted the evidence at hand only pointed to Bantag and several others named in the murder complaints.
Weeks before he was gunned down, Mabasa aired allegations of corruption against Bantag on his late-night radio show.
Bantag told DZRH broadcaster last month that he had nothing to do with the killing.
Bantag and Zulueta have also been accused of ordering the killing of Cristito Villamor Palana, a prison inmate who allegedly passed on the kill order to the gunman.
Palana was suffocated with a plastic bag by members of his own gang.
Criminal complaints have also been filed against 10 inmates over that killing.
Prosecutors at the Department of Justice will decide if there is enough evidence to file charges in court.
— With reports from Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News; Agence France-Presse