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Filipino journalist gunned down live on air

Broadcaster Juan Jumalon killed in attack at his studio that was witnessed by social media users watching his program
The College Editors' Guild of the Philippines and others hold a protest vigil outside the Commission on Human Rights to condemn the killing of Juan Jumalon in Manila on Nov. 5.

The College Editors' Guild of the Philippines and others hold a protest vigil outside the Commission on Human Rights to condemn the killing of Juan Jumalon in Manila on Nov. 5. (Photo: John Louie Abrina)

Published: November 06, 2023 04:33 AM GMT
Updated: November 06, 2023 07:14 AM GMT

A prominent broadcaster was shot dead during a live radio show on Nov. 5 in the Catholic-majority Philippines police said.

Juan Jumalon, 57, also known as DJ Johnny Walker, was killed in a brazen attack in his studio and witnessed by people watching his program on social media.

The unidentified gunman who came to Jumalon’s studio at his home in the southern Philippines is still at large.

The assailant secured entry Jumalon’s studio by pretending to want to make an urgent announcement during the program, aired on 94.7 Calamba Gold FM.

A video clip of the shooting has gone viral, showing Jumalon being shot twice by the suspect who snatched Jumalon’ gold necklace before fleeing.

"The attack is even more condemnable since it happened at Jumalon's home," said the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines.

“I am shocked and I am in grief… Having known this man as a fearless broadcaster, I share the grief of his family and the people of my province because we lost a true crusader,” said Misamis Occidental Governor Henry Oaminal.

Police in Misamis Occidental said they have identified two suspects.

Jumalon’s killing is the 199th since 1986 and the fourth under the watch of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Most journalists, 102 of them, worked with radio stations.

The president immediately condemned the killing which underscored the country's dubious distinction of being one of the world's most dangerous places for journalists.

“Such an uncivilized attack on our journalists has no place in a democratic country,” Marcos Jr. said.

He ordered police to conduct “a thorough investigation.”

The College Editors' Guild of the Philippines and other media organizations staged a vigil outside the office of the Commission on Human Rights in the capital Manila to protest the killing.

Brell Lacerna, spokesperson of the editors' guild, said that “the impunity doesn't seem to stop despite the recently commemorated ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists.”

In the latest Global Impunity Index of the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, the Philippines is ranked 8th, one place lower than 7th it has ranked in the previous two years.

This is the 16th consecutive year the Philippines has been included in the list of countries wherein the perpetrators of killings of journalists are not punished.

The three other journalists murdered after Marcos Jr. came to power in June 2022 were: Rey Blanco, Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa, and Cresenciano Bunduquin.

The case of "Percy Lapid" is far from resolved and the alleged mastermind is yet to be identified.

“There have been no convictions and few updates in the killings of  Rey Blanco and Cris Bundoquin,” said the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines.

On Nov. 23, 2009, 32 journalists and media workers among 58 were killed in an unparalleled attack known as the ‘Maguindanao massacre.’

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