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Percy Lapid gunman Joel Escorial meted 8-16 years in prison

LAS PINAS CITY — Self-confessed gunman Joel Escorial was sentenced to imprisonment of from 8 to 16 years by the Las Piñas City Regional Trial Court Branch 254 in connection with the killing of journalist Percival Mabasa, popularly known as Percy Lapid, in 2022.

Journalist and former National Press Club president Roy Mabasa, brother of Percy,  earlier said Escorial wanted a plea bargain agreement with the prosecution for a lower sentence.

Roy Mabasa said their family is thankful for the conviction of  Escorial as an accessory to murder.

“We honor the slain journalist by entrusting everything to God, yet our quest for justice will persist until all the masterminds are imprisoned,” Roy Mabasa said in his message to the media.

He said they will also continue to pursue the charges and monitor leads against the alleged masterminds in the killing.

“Joel Escorial, who admitted to being the gunman in the case involving Percival Mabasa, also known as ‘Percy Lapid,’ received a sentence of eight years and eight months to 16 years imprisonment from Judge Cesar Huliganga in Las Piñas,” Mabasa said.

He added Escorial will stay at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center “until the trial of Christoper Bacoto, another alleged accomplice, concludes.”

Mabasa also said the court ordered the counsel of former Bureau of Corrections deputy security officer Ricardo Zulueta to address the prosecution’s request for an autopsy

Zulueta died at the Bataan Peninsula Medical Center last March, supposedly due to heart failure.

Former Bureau of Corrections director general Gerald Bantag, principal accused in the murder of Lapid, remains at large.

Mabasa, 63, had come out with exposés on Bantag’s alleged illegal activities before he was gunned down on Oct. 3, 2022 near his residence in Las Pinas.

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