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Ka Percy Lapid: The Truth Can Never Be Silenced

Kim’s Dream Orlan Ravanera
Brave Broadcaster Killed for Telling the Truth

Mr. Percival Mabasa, the hard-hitting commentator known as Ka Percy Lapid was brutally killed by riding-in-tandem killers inside his car at about 8:30 pm on October 3, 2022 inside his residential compound in Las Piñas when he was about to leave to the radio station to do his daily job as hard hitting radio broadcaster-commentator. Ka Percy was very popular with thousands if not millions of avid listeners who were so amazed of his courage to tell the truth, not minding the series of libel cases and threats to his life. He would dare to tell the truth despite all the risks and dangers to his life in a country where some 187 journalists had already been killed since 1986 as the Philippines has the biggest number of journalists killed in the world.

Indeed, there is no greater grandeur sight on earth than these brave journalists who had willingly given-up their lives in the name of truth, firmly believing of the biblical tenet of “Veritas Liberabit Vos” (the truth shall set us free). During these most challenging times amidst morale collapse and the continuing dissemination of gospel of lies and misinformation as the truth is always kept hidden especially if it runs counter to the interest of the powers- that-be, let us have a listening ear to what Veritas (truth) has to say poetically:

“My name is Veritas. So simple is my language. Mankind runs after me because I am a precious possession. But to the rule of the corrupt officials and oppressors, I am a threat, thus I have to be silenced”. In fact, 187 journalists had already been killed to silence them for speaking in my behalf. But there will always be lovers of truth who could not live without me as exemplified by my beloved Ka Percy Lapid. So painful to lose a warrior for truth who has no fear of death as death is just an illusion because Ka Percy is consciousness that is eternal. Now Veritas is being silenced. But in the silence of my grave, these oppressors do not know that I am gaining strength. As the Filipino people are now seeking the truth and are becoming conscienticized on the socio-economic-political-ecological realities, the poor, the downtrodden and the oppressed are now undergoing an awakening process. Soon, they will be enlightened to harness their collective power to unfetter those in bondage from the fallacies of life to banner the truism: VERITAS LIBERABIT VOS (the truth shall set us free!}. When the people are awakened, they will finally fight for what is right, what is true and what is just and no way can they be defeated. Let notice be served to one and all that EL PUEBLO UNIDO, NO MAS CERA VINCIDO. (The people united, can never be defeated!)”

I dedicate this simple poem to Ka Percy who had leaped to the Great Beyond for telling the truth. I firmly believe that for everything there is a purpose as stated biblically. In fact, his death may be the long awaited catalyst for social transformation for people, planet, prosperity and peace. And why not? Don’t you know that in a Democratic and Republican State, Press Freedom is the State’s 4 th power in addition to the State’s three powers which are Executive, Legislative and Judiciary? No way therefore can the oligarchical power that may be in control as economic power begets political power, can perpetuate its stranglehold through elitist rule even if elections in this country follow the rule of money.

Ka Percy had been a very courageous advocate for truth, for equity, for social justice and of empowering the poor and the oppressed in a highly skewed pyramidal societal order where only 200 super-rich families control the economy. He had been asking, in a country oozing with ecological resources, why are the majority wallowing in poverty? In fact, millions of Filipinos have left their families behind just to find jobs in other countries. He had been asking, WHO CONTROLS? WHO DECIDES? WHO BENEFITS? Only a few oligarchs, cartel and conglomerates!

Contrary to the constitutional provision that “the State shall promote social justice,” social injustice looms in so many ways. It is seen in the life of the 13 million member- consumer-owners (MCOs) of so-called Electric Cooperatives which are cooperatives in name only as declared by no less than the Supreme Court as the MCOs’ share of capital of more than one trillion pesos have not been recognized all these years. It is seen in the life of peasantry tilling the land not their own and if they own the land, they do not control the mode of production and marketing.

Social injustice is also seen in the life of Filipino consumers who are victims of oppressive marketing system as ninety per cent of products sold in this country are imported and are passing at least 5 marketing layers, i.e., a bag of fertilizer bought in Ukraine at only P50 is being sold in Mindanao at P1,500; a Lipitor pill bought in New Delhi, India at P0.35 is sold in our pharmacies at P50? Why was the Rice Tariffication Law been passed that has allowed the entry of cheaply grown rice to enter our country? Don’t you know that farmers in Vietnam and Thailand are producing rice at only P5 per kilo as they are following sustainable organic farming while the 5 million Filipino rice farmers who all these years have been tied- up to conventional agriculture are producing rice at least P15 per kilo? Because of that law, many farmers have committed suicide “dahil na baon sa utang.” That’s the reason why then DA Sec. Piñol tendered his resignation.

That’s how powerful the oligarchs are in this country, even controlling water and electricity which are means to life, for heavy raking. As means to life, water and electricity must be cooperativized, to be owned and managed by the MCOs (member-consumer- owners) as being done in other countries. But water and electricity are controlled by the oligarchs masquerading as cooperatives.

These are just some of the semblance of truism, a “tip of the iceberg” (one-tenth seen, nine-tenth hidden) that our journalists are trying to rectify through the awakening process. But in the case of Ka Percy, he went as far as divulging and exposing corruption, describing the corrupt officials as vultures who are victimizing the poor without let-up. Thus, he had to be silenced for telling the truth and He is now in the loving embrace of God! Ka Percy, where ever you are now, you have exemplified a courageous life who willingly sacrificed your life to liberate the people from lies and misinformation, to you our firm salute and warm embrace.

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