attacks against media

Police eye land dispute in broadcaster’s murder in Misamis Occidental

Herbie Gomez, Uriel Quilinguing

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Police eye land dispute in broadcaster’s murder in Misamis Occidental


Northern Mindanao Police Regional Office Director Ricardo Layug creates Special Investigation Task Group Johnny Walker to look into the murder of broadcaster Juan Jumalon in Misamis Occidental

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – Police investigators are examining a land dispute, and a confrontation involving murdered Misamis Occidental broadcaster Juan “Johnny Walker” Jumalon, which allegedly took place before the fatal shooting that was inadvertently livestreamed on Facebook on Sunday morning, November 5.

In a report, Misamis Occidental’s police director, Colonel Dwight Monato, said the 57-year-old broadcaster had a heated argument with two people prior to the gun attack carried out inside an announcer’s booth located in his home in Purok 2, Barangay Bernardo A. Neri, Calamba town, Misamis Occidental.

Monato is leading the Special Investigation Task Group Johnny Walker, which was created by Northern Mindanao Police Regional Office director, Brigadier General Ricardo Layug, to investigate the deadly gun attack. 

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Broadcaster shot dead in Misamis Occidental while on air

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The incident shocked netizens who watched the livestream of the program, also broadcast by Gold FM in Calamba.

Monato said Jumalon had filed cases of annulment of public documents and falsification of public documents against two people, identified as Prize Liberfine and Rodolito Yap, in connection with a land dispute. 

The annulment of public documents case is still pending at the Regional Trial Court – Branch 36 in Calamba. Jumalon had successfully secured a conviction in the falsification case he filed. 

Those convicted in the criminal case for falsification are currently under probation, according to Monato.

The killing on Sunday morning prompted President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to order the police to conduct a thorough investigation, identify and arrest the culprits, and ensure justice is served. 

Marcos Jr. said such a heinous crime has no place in a democratic society.

Monato said investigators found cartridges and a spent bullet at the crime scene, which were subsequently sent to a forensics unit for examination. 

He said a bullet struck Jumalon’s mouth and pierced through the back of his head. 

Investigators noted that the suspects carried out the attack with precision, causing Jumalon to slump in his chair almost immediately upon seeing the gunman enter his workplace and pull the trigger.

Witnesses said the gunmen forced their way into the compound after one of Jumalon’s workers opened the gate.

Police said one of the gunmen pretended to have lost a wallet and key, and wanted Jumalon’s help by making a public announcement and appeal on air.

The Special Investigation Task Group Johnny Walker is examining CCTV footage, which showed two gunmen wearing caps entering the compound and the actual shooting shortly before 6 am on Sunday. 

The footage also showed the triggerman snatching Jumalon’s necklace as he fled the announcer’s booth.

The police said there was a third suspect acting as a lookout outside Jumalon’s home, and the killers made their escape on a motorcycle. 

The victim was rushed to the Calamba District Hospital, where he was pronounced dead by physician Geopeter Manisan.

Jumalon, widely known as Johnny Walker in the province, hosted the daily radio program Pahapyod sa Kabuntagon (Rubbing Touch in the Morning).

Misamis Occidental Governor Henry Oaminal described Jumalon as a “fearless broadcaster.”

Jumalon became the fourth broadcast journalist killed in the country since Marcos Jr. assumed power in 2022. The others were Cris Bundoquin in May 2023, Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa in October 2022, and Renato Blanco, also in 2022.

Since 1986, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) has listed 199 media workers murdered in the country, with most remaining as unsolved cases. –

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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.