THE SUPPOSED middleman who hired the killers of radio broadcaster Percival Mabasa died of unknown causes on Oct. 18, according to the country’s Justice chief.
The National Bureau of Investigation is conducting an autopsy on the man to find out how he died, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla told reporters on Thursday based on a tweet by state-run media People’s Television Network.
Rhodel O. Sermonia, deputy chief for administration of the Philippine National Police (PNP), told the ABS-CBN News Channel on Thursday that the man who ordered the killing of Mr. Mabasa was in a PNP detention center awaiting trial on a separate drug case.
“We need to secure the middleman because he will be great in establishing who is the mastermind,” he said.
In a separate statement, the Justice department said it will start its probe on the murder complaint against the self-confessed gunman of the incident on Oct. 24.
“Notwithstanding his extra-judicial confession, the suspect requested for a preliminary investigation and executed a waiver of his rights under Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended,” it said.
The gunman told a press briefing on Tuesday that he along with three others were hired by someone inside the national penitentiary. He claimed that they were paid P550,000, which they divided among themselves.
Local police earlier reported that the 63-year-old radio journalist was killed by two assailants while he was on board his car at the gate of a residential compound in Las Piñas City on the evening of Oct. 3. — John Victor D. Ordoñez