A prominent broadcaster in the Philippines was shot dead on Sunday during a live broadcast of his show.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines [NUJP] said in a statement that 57-year-old radio broadcaster Juan Jumalon — professionally known as DJ Johnny Walker — was gunned down in Misamis Occidental on 5 November.
He worked for Gold FM 94.7 radio station in the Philippines.
Local media said the attack by unidentified gunmen was caught on the radio station’s livestream on Facebook.
Ferdinand Marcos Jr, president of the Philippines, condemned the killing and ordered an investigation.
“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,” Mr Marcos Jr wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
The NUJP called the attack on Mr Jumalon a “brazen killing”. He was shot dead inside his home in Calamba, which also served as his office.
“The attack is even more condemnable since it happened at Jumalon’s own home, which also served as the radio station,” said the NUJP .
“Many community journalists have reported to us receiving threats from politicians and their supporters in the aftermath of their coverage of the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections last October 30,” said senior NUJP member Kath Cortez.
Cebu Daily News reported that an initial investigation by the Calamba police found that a man asked for permission to enter the radio station’s premises to announce “something important”.
Rappler reported that senior police officer Paul Guigayoma, of the Calamba municipal police station, said two gunmen arrived on foot at around 5.35am on Sunday at the radio station as Mr Jumalon was airing his programme.
“Apparently they knew their way around because they opened the iron gates and barged inside the radio station,” Mr Guigayoma was quoted as saying.
One man reportedly took out a gun from his pocket, shortly before entering the booth where Mr Jumalon was on air. He allegedly fired a single shot toward the journalist as the other man kept watch.
One of the men allegedly took the necklace Mr Jumalon was wearing before the pair fled the scene. The video footage of the shooting, widely shared on social media, shows a man pulling the necklace from the body.
Mr Jumalon was rushed to a hospital by family members where doctors pronounced him dead upon arrival.
The Mindanao Independent Press Council Inc [MIPC] called the killing “barbaric” and said attacks on journalists are a “grave assault on the fundamental principles of human rights, press freedom, and democracy itself”.
Mr Jumalon is the 199th journalist to be killed in the Philippines since 1986, and the fourth under the Marcos administration.
In the 2023 Global Impunity Index, recently published by the Committee to Protect Journalists, it ranked as the eighth-worst country in terms of prosecuting the killers of journalists.
Additional reporting by agencies
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