P6.5 million reward offered for arrest of 3 other suspects in Percy Lapid slay

October 19, 2022 - 6:50 PM
Percy Lapid vehicle
The sports utility vehicle (SUV) of veteran broadcaster Percival Mabasa, also known as "Percy Lapid," after unidentified assailants gunned him down while aboard his vehicle at the gate of a village in Barangay Talon Dos, Las Piñas City. (The STAR/Miguel de Guzman)

The police identified three other suspects involved in the shooting of broadcast journalist Percy Mabasa, popularly known as Percy Lapid, after self-confessed gunman Joel Escorial was presented to the media on Tuesday.

Escorial was initially identified as Joel Estorial.

On Wednesday, the Las Piñas City Police Station shared a post of the Southern Police District which featured the photos of “Orly” or “Orlando” and brothers Edmon Adao Dimaculangan and Israel Adao Dimaculangan with the reward money for those who can help in their capture.

“NCRPO persons of interest in the ‘Percival Mabasa’ case,” the post said, referring to the National Capital Region Police Office.

The police said that those with any information about the suspects can report to the Las Piñas City Police, which can be reached through the following contact numbers:

  • SMART — 0947-462-2859 or 0998-598-7928
  • PLDT — 8808-7935 or 8525-8403

The authorities are offering a cash reward of P6.5 million.

Percy Mabasa_suspects
Infographic released by the Southern Police District on Facebook on Oct. 19, 2022. (Facebook/spdhq)

The post came after the police presented Escorial to the public a day after supposedly surrendering to the authorities

Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr. said that the suspected gunman executed an extrajudicial affidavit with the help of a lawyer.

Escorial claimed that he surrendered out of fear and guilt.

He also identified three other men allegedly involved in the killing, which he said was an order that came from inside the New Bilibid Prison.

Escorial claimed the other suspects were Edmon Dimaculangan, Israel Dimaculangan and a man only known as “Orly” or “Orlando,” who he said gave them the kill order.

“Kung sino po ang matapat kay Percy po, siya po ang babaril. Eh nagkataon po natapat sa akin. Ang sabi naman po, ‘pag hindi ko binaril, ako naman po ang papatayin. Kaya po binaril ko na si Percy,” the self-confessed gunman claimed.

Escorial additionally claimed their group of six was paid P550,000 to kill Percy, which they split up. He said he received P140,000 which he deposited in a BDO bank account.

Abalos appealed to the Dimaculangan brothers to similarly turn themselves over to authorities.

“Kayong magkapatid, ako’y nanawagan na rin. Sumuko na ang gunman. Mas mabuting sumuko na rin kayo dahil talagang naramdaman niya mismo na delikado ang buhay niya at kung ano na rin ang mangyari sa inyo,” the Cabinet official said.

As of Wednesday, an initial investigation by the police revealed that Escorial had no criminal record prior to the killing of Percy.

The gunman claimed to be involved in other hit jobs, but Special Investigation Task Group commander Police Col. Restituto Arcangel said they will still “confirm” the allegations.

Arcangel also responded to doubts about Escorial being the “fall guy.” He said that the authorities are only basing their actions on “evidence.”

“Kung ano po isinubmit niya, [iyong] extrajudicial confession, at nasunod naman po ‘yan. Ibinigay niya bukal sa kalooban niya. In fact, assisted by his counsel,” the police said.

Roy also shared that he has talked to Escorial and that he “believes” him.

“On the basis of what he said, I believe in this suspect. I believe the statements he made because the specific details he discussed are really important,” he said on Wednesday.

Percy was gunned down in Las Piñas on October 3 by two motor-riding assailants on his way home.

He was the second journalist killed under this administration.

Last year, the Philippines was named the world’s seventh most dangerous country for media workers.