Radio broadcaster Juan Jumalon, known as DJ Johnny Walker, was fatally shot while broadcasting live from his home-based studio in Calamba, Philippines. The assailant gained entry by pretending to have an important announcement, only to open fire on Jumalon during his morning show on Gold FM 94.7. The entire incident was live streamed on Facebook.
Jumalon, 57, was shot twice and pronounced dead en route to the hospital. The attacker fled the scene with a gold necklace snatched from the victim. This tragic event marks the fourth journalist killed since Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. assumed office in June 2022.
The Philippines has a grim reputation as one of the world’s most perilous places for journalists. Jumalon’s death brings the total number of journalists killed in the country since the restoration of democracy in 1986 to a staggering 199.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines strongly condemned the attack, emphasizing the audacity of the act, as it occurred within Jumalon’s own home, which also served as the radio station.
President Marcos Jr. has vehemently condemned the shooting, pledging to hold the perpetrators accountable. He emphasized that attacks on journalists will not be tolerated in the democratic nation.
“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,” Marcos said in a post on social media.
Police have identified three suspects, including two individuals who entered Jumalon’s home and a getaway driver.
The investigation is ongoing, with authorities considering potential motives, including whether the attack was related to Jumalon’s broadcast work or personal matters.
The Philippines currently ranks 132 out of 180 countries on the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index, highlighting the dangers faced by journalists in the country.