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CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) have joined the investigation into the murder of broadcaster Juan Jumalon in Calamba, Misamis Occidental.
Undersecretary Paul Gutierrez, the executive director of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS), revealed this on Monday, November 6, just as the Philippine National Police (PNP) released a facial composite of one of the suspects in the fatal shooting of the 57-year-old Jumalon on Sunday morning, November 5. It was computer-generated based on descriptions provided by witnesses.
Authorities are investigating three men – two of whom entered Jumalon’s gated home, and a lookout outside – who carried out the deadly attack, which was inadvertently livestreamed on Facebook and captured on CCTV footage.
Jumalon, popularly known as Johnny Walker in Misamis Occidental, was killed inside his home, where he had set up an announcer’s booth. He was on-air, and live streaming on social media when he was attacked.
During a live-streamed program on the state-run People’s Television (PTV), Gutierrez said the Special Investigation Task Group Johnny Walker is awaiting the signed affidavits from witnesses against the suspects.
“We expect to receive the signed affidavits from witnesses anytime today (Monday),” he said.
Gutierrez said the PTFoMS has been closely coordinating with the Philippine National Police (PNP), NBI, and PAOCC.
He also expressed doubt that Jumalon’s murder was related to his media work.
“We talked with members of Mindanao Independent Press Council who knew Jumalon and they all said that he was an upstanding media worker. Maayos siya na broadcaster. Parang ‘di ito work-related (He was a good broadcaster. It seems this is not work-related),” Gutierrez said.
Earlier, police in Misamis Occidental said investigators were looking into at least four possible factors that led to the broadcaster’s fatal shooting.
In a police report, Colonel Dwight Monato, Misamis Occidental police director, said Jumalon had a heated argument with two individuals prior to the Sunday attack in Purok 2, Barangay Bernardo A. Neri in the town of Calamba. Monato said Jumalon had filed cases against the two people in connection with a land dispute.
“We assure the working media practitioners that the Marcos administration is working 24/7 for their safety and security,” said Gutierrez.
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla said on Monday that the NBI was expected to file its first report within the next 24 hours. Remulla said the first few theories on the motive of Jumalon’s killing came too quickly, “which is suspicious to me,” he said in a press conference Monday afternoon.
Remulla said authorities must wait for the NBI’s first report before deciding the course of the rest of the investigation.
“I cannot imagine this happening just like that,” Remulla said. “Kaya nga ito ang ‘yong bagay na hindi natin pababayaang mabaon sa limot (So we must not let this issue be forgotten).” – with a report from Vince Therese Turqueza/Rappler.com
Vince Therese Turqueza is a Rappler intern