A radio journalist in the Philippines was shot dead during a Facebook livestream in his home studio on Sunday morning, November 5, 2023.
Juan Jumalon, also known by his radio alias “DJ Johnny Walker,” was 57 years old.
The incident occurred in Calamba city, in the southern Philippines. The attacker gained entry to the home studio by saying he had an important announcement to make, then proceeded to shoot Jumalon twice, an act witnessed by viewers on a Facebook livestream. The assailant also stole Jumalon’s gold necklace before escaping on a motorcycle with an accomplice.
However, the New York Times reports that CCTV footage showed two gunmen entering the home while a third person remained outside as a lookout.
Jumalon was taken to the hospital following the attack, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The incident marks him as the 199th journalist killed in the Philippines since 1986, illustrating the continuing peril faced by media professionals in the country.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has condemned the murder and directed the Philippine National Police to conduct a comprehensive investigation to bring the perpetrator to justice. His administration has emphasized that attacks on journalists are unacceptable and has pledged to uphold media safety.
The Philippines has a history of violence against journalists, making it one of the most dangerous countries for the press. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is also urging the Philippine authorities to determine whether Jumalon was targeted because of his work and to arrest those responsible for the crime. According to CPJ, Jumalon is the fourth journalist killed since Marcos Jr. took office in June 2022.
There is an ongoing investigation to find out the motive behind the killing and whether it was directly related to Jumalon’s work as a journalist.
Various press freedom and human rights groups have called for more stringent measures to protect journalists in the country.
Jumalon was a well-known figure in local broadcast journalism, recognized for his contributions to provincial news broadcasting. The loss of Jumalon has been met with shock and sorrow by the local community and the journalism fraternity worldwide.
In response to the incident, media organizations and watchdogs are calling for more substantial actions and reforms to protect journalists and to end the cycle of violence against them.