DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Brazen is how the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) described the killing of radio anchor Juan “Johnny Walker” Jumalon while broadcasting in his booth on Sunday, November 5 in Calamba town, Misamis Occidental.
From the announcer’s booth of 94.7 Gold FM Calamba, Jumalon was reading congratulatory messages during his Sunday program “Pahapyod sa Kabuntagon” (Morning Caress) when a gunman entered and shot him twice at around 5:35 a.m.
The killing was captured on the station’s Facebook livestream, where it caught the gunman grabbing Jumalon’s necklace while the broadcaster slumped and heaved his last breath.
Police Corporal Paul Guigayoma of the Calamba Municipal Police Station said the gunman and his lookout acted like they “knew their way around because they opened the iron gates and barged inside the radio station”, before leaving on a motorcycle.
Calamba Municipal Mayor Jun Villanueva has reportedly said the lone gunman pretended to have an urgent announcement to make for the station which enabled him to enter without any provocation.
Jumalon was pronounced dead on arrival by the Calamba District Hospital. He sustained gunshot wounds in his lower lip and the back portion of his head, said Police Chief Corporal Eliver Quico.
The NUJP condemned the attack and said it is “more condemnable since it happened at Jumalon’s own home, which also served as the radio station”.
Jumalon’s death comes on the same week as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. He is the first victim of media killings in Mindanao under the administration of President Bongbong Marcos, Jr. He is the fourth victim under the present administration and the 199th since 1986.
Misamis Occidental Governor Henry Oaminal described Jumalon as a fearless broadcaster and called for an investigation of the case along with the other cases of atrocities in Misamis Occidental.
Meanwhile, Acting Regional Director of PRO-10 BGen Ricarco Layug Jr. said they are conducting a thorough investigation to identify the perpetrators. His office has created a special investigation task group for the speedy resolution of the case.
Pres. Bongbong Marcos also condemned the incident saying the attack against the media has no place in a democratic country. “Inatasan ng ating Pangulo ang Philippine National Police (PNP) na magsagawa ng masusing imbestigasyon upang mahuli at mapanagot ang sino mang nasa likod ng karumaldumal na krimeng ito“, he said in a statement.
The President has tasked the Philippine National Police to conduct a thorough investigation to capture and hold into account whoever is behind this brazen crime.
The Presidential Task Force on Media Security has asked the PNP to immediately activate a special investigation task group to “apprehend the suspect and others possibly involved in the interest of justice”.
The NUJP has recorded 101 media attacks under Marcos Jr.’s administration including harassment (36), red-tagging (19), libel/cyber libel (8), death threats (7), physical attacks (3), arrest (3), denial of coverage (3), online attacks/harassment (2), censorship (2) and other forms of judicial harassment (6).
Despite a slight improvement to 8th from 7th on the Global Impunity Index, according to NUJP, there have been no convictions in the killings of Rey Blanco (Negros Oriental) and Cris Bundoquin (Oriental Mindoro). The high-profile case of radio anchor Percy Lapid remains unresolved and the alleged mastermind behind it is still at large. (davaotoday.com)media killings marcos, Mindanao, nujp