Primary suspect in Percy Lapid slay died

Radio broadcaster Percival Mabasa also known as Percy Lapid
Radio broadcaster Percival Mabasa also known as Percy Lapid(File Photo)

RICARDO Zulueta, one of the alleged principal suspects in the killing of radio broadcaster Percival Mabasa also known as Percy Lapid, died on Friday, March 15, 2024.

In a report from the police, Zulueta was rushed to the Bataan Peninsula Medical Center in Dinalupihan town, at around 10 p.m., where he died an hour later due to heart failure.

His remains were brought to Holy Life Funeral Services and later to Barangay Mabiga in Hermosa Bataan.

In a message to reporters, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said he has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to verify Zulueta’s demise.

"We are still looking into the veracity of these reports and will update the public as soon as we receive word from the NBI," Remulla said.

Lapid’s brother Roy Mabasa urged the PNP to ascertain the real cause of Zulueta’s death considering that he was tagged as among the masterminds in the killing of the radio broadcaster.

Zulueta, a former Deputy Security Officer of the Bureau of Corrections (Bucor), has a standing arrest warrant along with former Bucor director Gerald Bantag for the murder of Lapid who was gunned down on October 3,2022 in Las Piñas City.

Zulueta, who has P1 million bounty on his head, and Bantag, who has P2 million on his head, were also facing murder charges for the killing of a person deprived of liberty (PDL) at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), Jun Villamor who allegedly facilitated Lapid’s killing.

Villamor was found dead inside the national penitentiary hours after self-confessed gunman Joel Escorial surrendered to the police.

Based on his death certificate, he died of a natural cause as the NBI noted in its autopsy findings that there was “no apparent sign of external physical injury” on Villamor’s body.

Villamor’s remains underwent an examination conducted by forensic pathologist Raquel Fortun who noted that it was a case of homicide.

Bantag, who has repeatedly denied a hand in the crime, is currently in hiding. (TPM)

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