September 6, 2003, in Davao City, Philippines
Unidentified gunmen riding a motorcycle shot Pala, a commentator on DXGO radio, while he was walking home with a bodyguard and a friend in Davao City. The journalist, who suffered nine gunshot wounds, was pronounced dead on arrival at the San Pedro Hospital, according to the Manila-based Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR). His companions sustained minor injuries.
In the 1980s, Pala was known for his fiery criticisms of communist rebel groups. At that time, he also served as a spokesperson for an anti-communist vigilante group. In recent years, his radio show has focused more on exposing corruption among local politicians, according to CMFR and press reports.
Pala had repeatedly been targeted for attack before his death. On April 29, unidentified gunmen opened fire on a taxi carrying the journalist, wounding him in the buttocks. Since that attack, Pala aired his show, "Isumbong Mo Kay Pala" (Tell Pala), from his home, according to CMFR.
Following Pala's murder, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ordered the Philippine National Police to form a task force to investigate all recent murders of journalists.
Job: Columnist / Commentator
Beats Covered: Corruption, Politics
Local or Foreign: Local
Type of Death: Murder
Suspected Source of Fire: Political Group
Taken Captive: No