College Editors Guild of the Philippines
Released on November 5, 2023
The College Editors Guild of the Philippines, together with its allied groups and fellow progressive media sector formations, condemn in the strongest terms the brutal killing of Juan “Johnny Walker” Jumalon this morning, November 5.
Jumalon, 57, was killed on air as he tended to his morning broadcast at the 94.7 Calamba Gold FM. His murder, done in broad daylight at his home station in Calamba town, was caught live on his station’s Facebook Page Livestream.
Jumalon is the 199th journalist killed since 1986, and the fourth one in the Marcos Jr. administration.
This happened just days after the global media community commemorated the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists on November 2. The following day, the country would rank 8th at the Global Impunity Index released by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
This brazen attack only proves that journalists in the Philippines and their working conditions remain hazardous. There is no “lessening of fear” in this line of work—rather, worsening attacks pile up day by day. Moreover, a significant number of deaths among journalists remain unresolved or were shelved after years of investigation.
The proliferation of massive disinformation and historical distortion also displaces the people’s press. State propaganda alienated the masses from local and alternative media, which for so long has campaigned for the rights of the oppressed and exposed the state’s efforts to crush their resistance and calls for change.
This unfortunate attack comes as we also prepare to commemorate the bloody Maguindanao Massacre on November 23. Fourteen years ago, 32 journalists were also killed as they joined an election convoy to the provincial capital. Perpetrators remain at large despite the conviction of some of its masterminds, including members of warlord Ampatuan family.
The attacks on the press are also attacks on all Filipino students. The Marcos Jr. administration’s crimes against journalists perpetuates the discouragement of many more aspirants to hold the line of truth. Only a repressive education system hinders students to call for justice on these death tolls on journalists.
Now more than ever, the Guild calls for stronger solidarity among our sector. Jumalon’s death must bind us together, once more, to call for an end to impunity that hounded our profession for the longest time. Moreso, we must also reaffirm the principles we bravely upheld: truth, courage, and unequivocal service to the masses.
We enjoin the Filipino people to stand together with us in these challenging times, and in resolution, call for justice for our fallen truth vanguard and accountability to the state for its failure to protect the freedom of the press.
John Ray Luciano
CEGP National Deputy Secretary General