Father of ‘middleman’ in Mabasa slay case cries for justice

Groups hold an indignation rally to condemn the killing of veteran broadcaster Percival Mabasa, who was more popularly known as Percy Lapid, along Timog Avenue in Quezon City on October 4, 2022. Photo from Kabataan Partylist’s Facebook Page

TACLOBAN CITY — The father of the alleged middleman in the killing of radio commentator Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa appealed for justice as his son’s body arrived Saturday in their house in Javier town, Leyte.

The father of Cristito Villamor Palaña said he could not believe that his 39-year-old son was killed behind bars.

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“He was already in prison. Why do they need to kill him?’ said the sobbing father whose name was withheld for security reasons.

The body of Palaña, who died inside the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City, arrived at 6:48 p.m. on Nov. 5 at the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport in Tacloban.

It was immediately brought to their house in Javier.

Lieutenant Nicky Bermudo, chief of Javier town police, said they have assigned some policemen to ensure the safety of Palaña’s family.

“We received instructions from the Provincial Mobile Force two weeks ago to secure the family of Palaña. About eight policemen were detailed there 24/7,” he said in a phone interview.

Bermudo said he could not determine when the police escorts would be pulled out.

“The instruction was just to secure the family. Whenever his father goes out of the house, for example, he must have an escort,” he said.

Bermudo said Palaña had been living in Manila for quite a long time.

“The father (of Palaña) is a simple farmer with no known bad record. All his six children, including Palaña, have been living in Manila,” the police chief said.

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