Journalist critical of political class killed in Philippines

Manila, Oct 4 (EFE).- Filipino journalist Percy Lapid, a radio commentator critical of the political class known for disclosing corruption cases in Philippine institutions, was shot dead in Manila, police sources reported Tuesday.

Percibal Mabada, 67 – better known as Percy Lapid – died Monday night after being shot by two people on a motorcycle at the entrance of a housing estate in the north of the Philippine capital.

The reporter has been critical of the government of the current President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., as well as predecessor Rodrigo Duterte.

“There is an open investigation to determine the motives of this case. The Philippine National Police is committed to enforcing justice,” the national police force said in a brief statement to the media.

Lapid denounced nepotism and corruption in institutions, and was especially critical of Duterte’s violent “war on drugs,” which caused thousands of deaths, and disinformation, including the attempt to rewrite the period of martial law under Ferdinand Marcos Sr. between 1972 and 1981.

Recently, he pointed to Philippine politician Lorraine Badoy, accused of threatening a judge on social media because she ruled in favor of the communist insurgents of the New People’s Army, ruling it was not a terrorist organization, as the prosecution had requested.

Badoy, who has denied making the threats, was a spokesman for the National Force to End the Communist Armed Conflict, a body created by Duterte to end the communist rebellion in the Philippines.

Lapid is the third journalist to be killed this year in the Philippines, according to UNESCO data.

Reporters Without Borders ranked the Philippines 147th out of 181 in its report on press freedom in 2022, dropping as much as six places in the ranking since Duterte came to power in 2016.

The Philippines is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to practice journalism. Since the return of democracy in 1986, 191 journalists have been killed, 21 of them during Duterte’s tenure, according to the Commission to Protect Journalists.

This situation contrasts with the traditional freedom of the press in the Philippines compared to other Asian countries, and even today, despite the violence, the critical media ecosystem is more diverse than in neighboring nations. EFE


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