Family seeks clarification on money trail in Percy Lapid slay

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 24 2022 04:09 PM

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MANILA — The camp of Percival Mabasa is seeking clarification regarding the source of money for the murder of the veteran broadcaster.

According to lawyer Danilo Pelagio, legal counsel of the Mabasa family, there are still some "loopholes" in the investigation.

"For one, the money trail," he told ANC's "Headstart" Thursday. 

"If you reconcile their statements with what was reported by the AMLC (Anti-Money Laundering Council), which is right now still confidential, there could be some probably, it was just a result of recollection. Those are some of the things that we need to clarify," he added.

The Mabasa camp is calling for a supplemental affidavit or sworn statements "to clear up some of these supposedly loopholes," Pelagio said.

Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos presents Joel Escorial, the suspected gunman in the Percy Lapid case during a press conference at Camp Crame in Quezon City on Oct. 18, 2022. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos presents Joel Escorial, the suspected gunman in the Percy Lapid case during a press conference at Camp Crame in Quezon City on Oct. 18, 2022. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

The AMLC earlier confirmed that P550,000 was deposited into the account of self-confessed gunman Joel Escorial.

Escorial received P250,000 before Mabasa's slay and the remaining P300,000 was sent after the murder, according to Pelagio. 

Mabasa, 63, who went by the name "Percy Lapid" on his program, was shot dead in Las Piñas on Oct. 3 as he drove to his studio.

Police alleged Bureau of Corrections director general Gerald Bantag, who is currently suspended from duty, was behind the murder along with his deputy security officer Ricardo Zulueta.

Bantag said he had nothing to do with the killing. The whereabouts of Zulueta, who skipped the preliminary probe this week, remained unknown. 

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 allegedly suffocated with a plastic bag by members of his own gang, according to an independent autopsy.

— With a report from Agence France-Presse