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Philippines reporter dies during Facebook live

First Published: 6th November, 2023 15:00 IST

The attacker shot Jumalon once, and the bullet hit his lower lip and exited from the back of his head, the Manila Times reported.

radio broadcaster was shot dead in his studio while people were watching a live stream of his program on Facebook, reported Philippines-based Manila Times.

Juan Jumalon, a 57-year-old news anchor at the Calamba Gold FM 94.7, was shot down by a gunman who entered his house residence in Calamba town in Misamis Occidental province on Sunday.

Jumalon, who was known as “Johnny Walker,” had set up the radio station at his residence.

The attacker shot Jumalon once, and the bullet hit his lower lip and exited from the back of his head, the Manila Times reported.

Following the attack, the broadcaster was rushed to the Calamba Hospital but was declared dead as soon as he reached.

Moreover, the Calamba Police has urged the Misamis Occidental Provincial Forensic Unit to identify the murder weapon through a ballistics test.

BGen. Ricardo Layug, acting regional director of the Police Regional Office, said, “We are now actively conducting a thorough investigation to identify the perpetrators of this crime and bring them to justice. A Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) will be created to spearhead and coordinate the investigative efforts to facilitate the speedy resolution of the case.”

Meanwhile, Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. condemned the killing of the radioman, according to the Manila Times.

“This kind of uncivilized attack on our journalists has no place in a democratic country. Our President has tasked the Philippine National Police to conduct a thorough investigation to capture and hold accountable whoever is behind this gruesome crime,” the Presidential Communication Office said in a statement in Filipino.

Furthermore, Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) Executive Director Paul Gutierrez called for a special investigation group to investigate the killing of Jumalon, and stated, “Even as we extend our sympathy to the victim’s family and friends over this dastardly attack.”

“While the motive is yet to be determined, we consider this incident work-related for the moment,” Gutierrez added.

“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 Jumalon. Instead, we call on them to provide relevant and factual information that can hasten the resolution of this incident,” he further said.

While the original live video of Jumalon’s broadcast was deleted from Facebook, but those watching the program managed to screen-record the shooting, Manila Times reported.

The screen recording showed the suspect grabbing Jumalon’s gold necklace before hurriedly leaving the crime scene.

Moreover, Oliver Quico, an officer in charge of the Calamba police, said two men showed up at Jumalon’s house and told a staffer that they wanted to make a public announcement.

After getting inside, one of them aimed a gun at the staffer while his companion proceeded to the station and shot Jumalon at close range, according to the Manila Times.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the Philippines is one of the most dangerous countries for journalists, particularly for radio broadcasters.

The Philippines ranked eighth in the CPJ 2023 Global Impunity Index for countries where the killings of journalists go unpunished.

Reportedly, Jumalon was the second radio commentator in Mindanao to have been killed in the middle of a broadcast.

Way back in 1985, Charlie Aberilla, 64, was shot dead inside his radio booth in Iligan City.

Aberilla’s listeners were able to hear the gunshots and the commentator’s dying gasps.

Moreover, Aberilla’s case has remained unsolved to this day.

Additionally, Jumalon is also the fourth journalistkilled since President Marcos took office in June 2022, reported Manila Times.

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