Jalapit, host of local radio station DXPR’s top-rated morning program,
“Lampornas,” was killed in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur Province,
as he was leaving a parent-teacher association meeting.
The journalist had received numerous death threats over the years. At 9
a.m. on the morning of his death, he received the text message “I will
kill you today” on his cellular phone, according to a translation
published by The Philippine Daily Inquirer. At 11:20 a.m., an unidentified gunman riding tandem on a motorcycle shot the journalist in the back of the head.
Jalapit, 34, was Pagadian City’s leading media personality. He was
known as a hard-hitting commentator whose work did not spare the
CPJ sources believed Jalapit was murdered as a result of his frank
on-air discussions of sensitive issues such as political corruption,
illegal gambling operations, the drug trade, and armed separatist
movements in the southern Philippines.
Just days before his murder, Jalapit was suspended from hosting
“Lampornas” for one week, beginning November 13, after Environment
Secretary Antonio Cerilles and his wife, Representative Aurora
Cerilles, registered a complaint about the program with the Manila
headquarters of Radio Mindanao Network, of which DXPR is an affiliate.
The journalist was on his way to a meeting with Representative Cerilles
when he was killed. Both Antonio and Aurora Cerilles have denied any
involvement in the murder.
The National Bureau of Investigation led a probe into the killing but had not made any arrests at year’s end.