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Monday, May 20, 2024

Radio anchor shot dead during live broadcast

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By Vince Lopez, Gabriellea Pariño,

Charles Dantes and Rio N. Araja

A radio anchor was shot and killed while doing a live broadcast inside his own residence in Calamba, Misamis Occidental on Sunday.

The 57-year-old victim, Juan Tumpag Jumalon or “Johnny Walker,” was at his home-based radio station in Barangay Don Bernardo A. Neri when an unidentified gunman entered the radio booth and shot him in the face at point blank range.

The video stream showed Jumalon being shot twice by the suspect who also grabbed his gold necklace before fleeing the crime scene.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said the shooting occurred at 5:35 a.m. while Jumalon was in the middle of his radio program on 94.7 Calamba Gold FM.

The suspect and the motive for the murder have yet to be determined.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. condemned the killing as he warned that those who threatened press freedom would face the full consequences of their actions.

In a post on his X account the President ordered the PNP to conduct a comprehensive investigation to arrest the suspect.

“Attacks on journalists will not be tolerated in our democracy, and those who threaten the freedom of the press will face the full consequences of their actions,” he added.

An SITG was formed to look into Jumalon’s killing in Misamis Occidental, as condemnation poured in regarding his shocking death while doing his show.

Police Brig. Gen. Ricardo Layug, Jr., acting regional director of Police Regional Office 10, said a thorough and active investigation to identify the killer is underway.

Layug added that the SITG would lead and coordinate efforts in the investigation.

“We extend our full support to the media community and underscore the vital collaboration among law enforcement, the community, and all the stakeholders in ensuring the safety of all the media practitioners in the region,” he said in a statement.

Jumalon was taken to the Calamba District Hospital but later died from the gunshot wound.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) condemned the said murder of a radio broadcaster in his own residence.

“The attack is even more condemnable since it happened at Jumalon’s own home, which also served as the radio station,” the NUJP said.

“Jumalon’s killing is the 199th since 1986 and the fourth under the present administration,” it noted, adding that it also comes in the same week as the International Day to End Impunity For Crimes Against Journalists.

The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) called on the Philippine National Police (PNP) to activate a special investigation task group (SITG).

“Even as we extend our sympathy to the victim’s family and friends over this dastardly attack, we also call on the Misamis Occidental Police Office to immediately constitute its SITG to investigate this incident and apprehend the suspect and others possibly involved in the interest of justice,” PTFoMS executive director, Undersecretary Paul Gutierrez said.

“The creation of an SITG on incidents like this is among the agreed protocols among the agencies within the PTFoMS,” Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez also alerted the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), which is also part of the PTFoMS, to also start gathering evidence in support of the ongoing investigation to hasten its resolution.

“While the motive is yet to be determined, we consider this incident as ‘work-related’ for the moment.

“We also call on our colleagues in the media and the public not to resort to any speculation or make baseless accusations that can only distract our investigators on the true motive for the attack on Jamalon. Instead, we call on them to provide relevant and factual information that can hasten the resolution of this incident,” Gutierrez said

Jumalon was the owner of the 94.7 FM Gold Radio Calamba, which was located in the yard of his residence.

He was shot by an unidentified attacker who was acting alone, according to Calamba Police.

The Mindanao Independent Press Council Inc. (MIPC Inc.) issued a statement condemning the attack.

“We express our deepest concern and unequivocal condemnation of this brazen act of violence against a member of the media. Attacks on journalists are not only attacks on the individuals themselves but are a grave assault on the fundamental principles of human rights, press freedom, and democracy itself,” the group said.

“Such acts have become notably frequent in this country, and no matter how many journalists are killed in the name of freedom of expression, it remains a fact that this barbarity has no place in a just and civilized society.”

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