PNP, DOJ condemn assassination of broadcaster in Misamis Occidental
MANILA, Philippines — Law enforcement agencies have extended their support for the media community, as they vowed to uphold press freedom and ensure safety of journalists nationwide following the assassination of radio broadcaster Juan Jumalon in Misamis Occidental early Sunday.
In separate statements both issued on Sunday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) condemned the brutal killing of Jumalon inside his radio booth in Calamba town around 5:35 a.m.
As seen in a viral clip, 57-year-old Jumalon, popularly known as DJ Jonny Walker was shot twice through his mouth. The victim’s family brought him to Calamba District Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
In response, the DOJ called the victim’s death a “despicable act of violence” and “an affront to the principles of democracy, freedom of expression, and the sanctity of a free press.”
“The Department of Justice reiterates its unwavering commitment to upholding press freedom and the safety of journalists. We recognize the indispensable role of a free and independent media in maintaining a healthy democracy. Any attempts to silence or intimidate journalists will be met with the full force of the law,” the statement signed by DOJ spokesperson Mico Clavano reads.
“In light of this tragic incident, the DOJ affirms its dedication to enhancing the situation of journalists and safeguarding their rights. We will work tirelessly to create an environment where journalists can carry out their essential work without fear of violence, harassment, or reprisals,” it added.
Moreover, the justice department said that Jumalon’s death strengthens its resolve “to create a society where journalists can report fearlessly and truthfully.”
“We vow to spare no effort in ensuring a thorough investigation, the swift apprehension of the perpetrators, and their subsequent prosecution to the fullest extent of the law,” it said.
Likewise, the PNP said they are actively conducting a thorough investigation to identify the perpetrators behind the shooting incident and assured that a special investigation task group will be formed to probe the case and track the suspects.
“We extend our full support to the media community and underscore the vital collaboration among law enforcement, the community, and all the stakeholders in ensuring the safety of all the media practitioners in the region,” the Police Regional Office 10 said.
“Let us stand united against violence and work towards a society where freedom of expression and of the press is respected and protected,” it added.