November 17, 2000, in Pagadian City, Philippines
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 powerful.
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.
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