attacks against media

Governor urges cops to act vs atrocities in Misamis Occidental after broadcaster’s murder

Herbie Gomez, Froilan Gallardo

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Governor urges cops to act vs atrocities in Misamis Occidental after broadcaster’s murder
Misamis Occidental Governor Henry Oaminal calls on authorities in Northern Mindanao to investigate the atrocities in the province, including the murder of broadcaster Juan Jumalon

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – Misamis Occidental Governor Henry Oaminal called on police authorities in Northern Mindanao to look into a series of atrocities in the province, including the grisly murder of broadcaster Juan Jumalon, on Sunday morning, November 5.

Oaminal said Misamis Occidental saw two explosions and a gun attack on a public official in less than a month since October.

On October 15, Oaminal cheated death when a crude bomb went off while his convoy was passing through the town of Clarin.

Oaminal earlier said the attempt on his life was due to narco-politics which, he said, was trying to gain a foothold in Misamis Occidental and Ozamiz City again.

He said the attempt on his life was followed by the shooting of Calamba town’s municipal engineer, and a grenade attack at the home of Calamba Mayor Luisito Villanueva Jr. No one was hurt in the explosion.

Oaminal said the fatal shooting of Jumalon in an announcer’s booth in Purok 2, Barangay Bernardo A. Neri, Calamba was shocking.

“I am shocked, and I am in grief,” read part of a statement he released after Jumalon’s killing.

The gun attack was made while Jumalon, popularly known as Johnny Walker, was livestreaming on Facebook. The murder was also caught on CCTV.

Oaminal said he was informed that the triggerman entered the announcer’s booth pretending that he went there to make an urgent announcement.

Oaminal appealed to Brigadier General Ricardo Layug, police director for Northern Mindanao, to order an investigation into the series of atrocities in Misamis Occidental since October.

He also directed Misamis Occidental police director Colonel Dwight Monato to “leave no stone unturned” in the investigation into Jumalon’s murder.

Oaminal described Jumalon as a “fearless broadcaster.”

Calamba town police chief Captain Diore Ragonio said investigators were looking into at least three suspects, including a lookout, based on witnesses’ accounts.

Ragonio also said the police were getting the witnesses’ description, and would compare these to the CCTV footage.

Corporal Paul Guigayoma of the Calamba police station said the gunman barged in and fired twice, leaving Jumalon slumped on the announcers’ booth. He then grabbed Jumalon’s necklace and fled.

Many netizens watched in horror as the gunman shot the 57-year-old Jumalon. His program on Gold FM 94.7 FM station was being live-streamed at that time.

The killing was so brazen that media groups such as the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) immediately condemned it, fearing more attacks on community journalists.

Jumalon was rushed by his family members to a hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Guigayoma said the assailants apparently knew their way around Jumalon’s gated house where he also set up his announcer’s booth.

He said the killers fled on a motorcycle which they parked near Jumalon’s house. –

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Herbie Gomez

Herbie Salvosa Gomez is coordinator of Rappler’s bureau in Mindanao, where he has practiced journalism for over three decades. He writes a column called “Pastilan,” after a familiar expression in Cagayan de Oro, tackling issues in the Southern Philippines.