Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. condemned the killing of a journalist during a live broadcast on Sunday, as advocacy groups sounded the alarm over violence against reporters in the country.
Juan Jumalon, also known as “DJ Johny Walker,” was fatally shot during a break-in at his home, which doubled as his broadcasting studio for the show 94.7 Calamba Gold FM, while he was on air. The murder, which was captured via livestream and widely disseminated via social media, was the 199th killing of a journalist in the country since 1986, and the fourth to have occurred since Marcos became president last year, according to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), whose Media Safety Office monitors violence against journalists.
Marcos wrote via social media platform X (formerly Twitter) over the weekend:
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 of the press will face the full consequences of their actions.
The NUJP issued a statement the same day condemning the “brazen killing.” The NUJP, which monitors threats, intimidation, and violence against media workers, has set up a Media Safety Office to track relevant cases and ensure the safety of journalists.
Following the incident, Marcos instructed the national police force to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation. A special investigation task group was formed to coordinate efforts, and law enforcement authorities pledged their support for media workers and freedom of expression.
On Monday, the police released the image of one of the three identified suspects, described as a 40-year-old male with a medium build. The police spokesperson stated that investigations into the motive for the crime were ongoing.