December 10, 2022

I used to listen to DZRH every morning because I liked the way Joe Taruc and Deo Macalma talked about the latest and news pertaining to politicians, actors, and other publicized figures in our country.
The two made reporting and broadcasting fun, funny, and entertaining. They are not afraid to take on controversial issues that affect the rights and interest of the common tao. They’d laugh at the faults and failures of people we know.
They would also curse at those who violated the law and they would mock those who are inept and incompetent in doing their jobs. Truly, they were a force to reckon with and they set a precedent for professional journalism. Actually, it was through Taruc that news reporting became more than a job. It was transformed into an advocacy for truth and reformation.
Then Taruc died in 2017, leaving his popular program hanging in the air. Other announcers were hired to take over his broadcasting but nobody came close to his charisma and his inherent ability to allow listeners to be glued to what he was saying. His voice as well as his hard hitting comments were missed.
Until “Lapid Fire”, hosted by Percy Lapid, started streamlining on social media in 2019.
Lapid Fire became an instant hit the moment it went on air. The program had all the ingredients that make for good listening. The topics that were tackled were significant.
The broadcasting was free and easy and, most importantly, the announcer Lapid, was fearless. He had a tongue of fire and was unafraid to tell things as he sees it. His brain was razor sharp and his voice had the quality to hypnotize his viewers.
When I first watched his program when he was attacking Eliseo Soriano, the leader of the religious group Ang Dating Daan, I was amazed as I was mesmerized.
Other hard-hitting programs followed suit with persons of interest like former Sen. Ping Lacson, Francis Leo Marcos, former Sen. Manny Pacquiao, and even former President Rodrigo Duterte not spared. Here was an announcer who identified the specific names of his expose’, and here was a man who talked about situations that nobody dared to touch.
“Man,” I said to myself, Lapid is putting his life and reputation on the line every time his goes on air. Only the late Taruc had the capability and the courage to do what Lapid was doing. Both have the same character of being bold and fearless. I thought that finally, after a long search, I have found another broadcasting who I can appreciate as an heir apparent to my favorite announcer – Joe Taruc. I became a fan of Percy Lapid.
The reign of Lapid was short-lived though.
On Oct. 3, he was mercilessly gunned down by hired killers upon the alleged order of a high ranking government official. The first time his death was reported, I did not think that the person who was assassinated was the beloved Lapid because the name of the victim as reported was Percival Mabasa. It was only then that I learned that the real name of Percy Lapid is Percival Mabasa.
Regardless, a high-profile journalist was killed without reason. The killing of Lapid is as detestable and demonic as any other senseless killing of important members of our society. Therefore, it is not only his family who is crying for justice. We, his avid listeners, want justice, too.
For, if this is not resolved with utmost care and understanding, the future of free speech, as we value it, will be compromised.