Juan Jumalon (Image: MANILA BULLETIN FILE)

In a somber tone that reverberated across the nation, Anakbayan, the beacon of progress and change, has voiced its fierce disapproval of a recent heart-wrenching incident that transpired in the quaint town of Calamba, Misamis Occidental. The incident, in question, bore the mark of unfathomable cruelty, casting a long shadow on the life of a distinguished veteran broadcaster.

The name Juan Jumalon, affectionately known as ‘Johnny Walker’ among his community, has been etched into the annals of local radio history. This 57-year-old luminary, who lent his voice to the airwaves of 94.7 Calamba Gold FM, had his journey in the limelight cut short by a senseless act of violence.

The chronicle of this dreadful occurrence unraveled at Jumalon’s humble home-based radio station, nestled in the tranquil precincts of Barangay Don Bernardo A. Neri. It was a seemingly ordinary day, one that was about to take a tragic turn. Two men, cloaked in an air of deceptive normalcy, made their way to the radio station premises, purportedly to deliver a momentous message to the listening public.

Little did anyone fathom the ghastly tableau that was about to unfurl before their eyes. The crime, cruel and callous, played out in real-time, witnessed by many on Facebook Live, an uncensored account of human malevolence. As the fateful minutes ticked by, the perpetrator of this heinous act was not content with merely extinguishing a life; he proceeded to strip the victim of his dignity, forcibly seizing the necklace that adorned Jumalon’s neck.

In a statement, President Marcos expressed strong condemnation of the killing of radio broadcaster Juan Jumalon, emphasizing that there is no room for “barbarian attacks” against journalists in a democratic nation such as the Philippines. The incident occurred on the morning of November 5 when Jumalon was shot dead inside a radio booth in Misamis Occidental.

Anakbayan, the voice of the dispossessed and the marginalized, was swift to lend its support to the grieving community. Their condemnation of this ruthless act reverberated through their statement, a testament to their unwavering commitment to justice and accountability.

In an indictment that echoed through the digital realms, Anakbayan underscored a disconcerting statistic: Juan Jumalon is the 299th media professional to have fallen victim to violence since the People Power Revolution of 1986, the 4th such incident during the tenure of the administration led by Marcos.

This tragedy unfolded within days of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists on November 2. For Anakbayan, this sequence of events underscores a distressing reality – the perpetuation of impunity in the realm of media worker homicides. It’s a blemish on the cherished ideal of press freedom, which isn’t merely a privilege of those who wield the microphone and pen but a fundamental right that extends to all citizens.

In the wake of this harrowing episode, Anakbayan has raised its voice to demand swift and unequivocal justice for the victim. The heart-wrenching loss of Juan Jumalon serves as a grim reminder of the urgent need to dismantle the structures that allow such atrocities to persist.

The Calamba, Misamis Occidental police station has expressed its strong condemnation of the murder of broadcaster Juan Jumalon, which occurred on Sunday, November 5. According to the initial investigation, two individuals arrived at the victim’s home-based radio station, 94.7 Calamba Gold FM, located in Barangay Don Bernardo A. Neri. It was reported that they had come to make a highly significant on-air announcement.

But the call for justice doesn’t end with Anakbayan; it extends to the youth, the torchbearers of change. Anakbayan beckons upon the young to rise, to unite, and to act in unison against the unjust slaughter of journalists and civilians. The path to a society free from such abhorrent violence can only be forged through collective action and unwavering determination, and Anakbayan is here to lead the charge.

As the nation grapples with the profound tragedy of Johnny Walker’s untimely demise, the rallying cry for justice echoes across the airwaves and beyond. It is a plea for a world where voices, like that of Juan Jumalon, can flourish without fear, where the truth can be spoken without reprisal, and where justice is not a distant dream but a living reality.