Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on the killing of radio broadcaster Juan Tumpag Jumalon

Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on the killing of radio broadcaster Juan Tumpag Jumalon

The Commission on Human Rights, through its regional office in Region X, has launched a Quick Response Operation to conduct an independent motu proprio investigation of the violent attack resulting in the death of Juan Tumpag Jumalon, also known on-air as ‘DJ Johnny Walker,’ in Calamba town Misamis Occidental.

The said incident happened early Sunday morning, 5 November 2023, as Jumalon was broadcasting on radio station 94.7 Calamba Gold FM, similarly located in his residence at Brgy. Don Bernardo A. Neri. The attack, carried out by a lone unidentified perpetrator, was captured on the livestream of his programme. The attacker was also seen grabbing the gold necklace of Jumalon before fleeing. Jumalon was rushed to the hospital, but was declared dead on arrival.

According to news reports, the Calamba Municipal Police Station is also investigating the case and has initiated a dragnet operation and checkpoints to help apprehend the suspect.

CHR condemns this brazen act of arbitrarily depriving a person of their right to life. CHR expresses further concern as the victim was a journalist—fourth killing under the current administration and 199th since 1986. Our independent investigation also seeks to determine if the killing is work-related. We recognise, however, the chilling effect of this violent attack that continues to make the country a dangerous place for journalists.

We urge the government to not let this incident end up in impunity through an urgent investigation and apprehension of the perpetrator. Our investigation seeks to aid in the pursuit of justice, including other recommendations toward the protection of media welfare and rights.