Abalos wants PNP to tighten security on Lapid gunman

Abalos wants PNP to tighten security on Lapid gunman

By Rjhay E. Laurea

QUEZON CITY — Interior Secretary Benjamin ‘Benhur’ Abalos, Jr. today directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to tighten security measures and ensure the safety of the alleged gunman of radio journalist Percy Lapid.

The order was released following the suddden death of the alleged middleman in Percy Lapid case in the National Bilibid Prison. 

“Inaatasan ko ang PNP na higpitan ang pagbabantay kay Joel Escorial pagkatapos ng masamang nangyari sa mga contact niya sa Bilibid. Siguruhin natin ang kanyang kaligtasan dahil siya ang susi sa pagresolba ng kasong ito (I am directing the PNP to tighten the security of Joel Escorial after a bad incident happened to one of his contacts in Bilibid. Make sure of his safety because he is the key to resolve this case),” said Abalos. 

In a short press conference, Abalos said the DILG and the PNP are surprised and upset with the turnout of the events leading to the unexpected death of the alleged middleman to the Percy Lapid murder case. 

“Hinayang na hinayang kami sa nangyari na ito, sana maunawaan ng lahat na pinaghirapan ng PNP ang kasong ito. Day 1 pa lang ay nag-offer na tayo ng reward at halos araw-araw ay talagang pinagpaguran ito ng Task Force Lapid talagang binack-track ito hanggang sa matunton natin itong gunman. (We regret this incident, we hope you all understand PNP’s painstakings for this case. From Day 1 we have already offered rewards and almost everyday the Task Force Lapid is putting their efforts as they back-track this incident until they are able to identify the gunman.) It has really been hardwork on the part of our PNP,” he said. 

Abalos said the death of the middleman may be a roadblock to the development and possible quick resolution of the high-profile case but he assured that the DILG and PNP will not let go of this case, especially after this unfortunate incident. 

“Sa nangyaring ito, hinayang kami, ngayon may autopsy na ginagawa dahil once na malaman na may foul play dito, talagang galit kami. Galit na galit kami and we are demanding na kapag nangyari man iyon, mananagot ang dapat managot (With this incident that we really regret, we are angry, as of now an autopsy is being conducted to determine if there is a foul play. We are very angry and we are demanding that if there is really foul play, the one responsible must be held accountable),” Abalos said. 

On October 18, Abalos presented Escorial to the media following an extensive investigation of the PNP leading to the arrest of the suspect. A bounty of P6.5-million was also circulated to the public to whoever will point to the location of the killer. 

The DILG chief said that the incident will only motivate the DILG and PNP to work harder to ensure the murder case’s resolution and bring justice to the family of Percy Lapid. 

Meanwhile, Police Colonel Kirby John Brion Kraft said that the two alleged middlemen, before the said incident, were both secured in the National Bilibid Prison and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP). 

Abalos likewise said that the early presentation of the alleged gunman did not derail the development of the case, on the contrary, it has aided and hastened the progress of the case. (ai/mtvn)

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