On Sunday, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr issued a robust condemnation of the assassination of a Filipino journalist and directed the police to initiate an inquiry aimed at bringing those responsible to justice.
The journalist, Juan Jumalon, who was also recognized as “DJ Johnny Walker,” was fatally shot by unidentified attackers while conducting a broadcast from his residence in a town in the southern Philippines on Sunday morning. This information was disclosed in a statement by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), citing preliminary reports.
In a statement posted on the X platform, Marcos asserted that acts targeting journalists would not be accepted within the nation’s democratic framework. He further emphasized that those who undermine the freedom of the press would be held accountable for their deeds and face the appropriate legal consequences.
I condemn in the strongest terms the murder of broadcaster Juan Jumalon. I have instructed the PNP to conduct a thorough investigation to swiftly bring the perpetrators to justice.
Attacks on journalists will not be tolerated in our democracy, and those who threaten the freedom…
— Bongbong Marcos (@bongbongmarcos) November 5, 2023
The media watchdog, NUJP, expressed strong disapproval of the murder, noting that it had been captured on a live broadcast of Jumalon’s show. Jumalon operated his radio station from his residence in Calamba, Misamis Occidental.
With Jumalon’s tragic demise, the tally of journalists who have lost their lives since Marcos assumed office in June 2022 has now reached four, and the total since the restoration of democracy in the Philippines in 1986 stands at 199. This count encompasses a tragic incident in 2009 in which 32 journalists lost their lives.
Despite having one of the most open media landscapes in Asia, the Philippines continues to be one of the globe’s most perilous locations for journalists, particularly in rural areas. In the 2023 Global Impunity Index published by the Committee to Protect Journalists this week, the Philippines was positioned as the eighth-worst nation in terms of prosecuting individuals responsible for the murder of journalists.