Saddened and alarmed

By Alex P. Vidal

“All murder is a tragedy but when journalists are killed, public debate loses a voice that can provide an important contribution to democracy. It is essential that governments do all they can to ensure safe conditions for journalists to carry out their work.”—Irina Bokova

WE are saddened and alarmed by the recent murder of our colleague from Misamis Occidental, Juan Jumalon, a radio broadcaster known to his listeners as “DJ Johnny Walker.”

We have lost count of the number of denunciations and calls for swift justice in the past for our fallen comrades.

Jumalon, 57, was reading the greetings of his listeners on-air at around 5:30 a.m. on November 5 when a man wearing a cap walked inside the announcer’s booth, shot him in the mouth and grabbed the victim’s gold necklace before fleeing.

He was the 199th member of the press killed since democracy was allegedly restored in 1986 when the family of the current Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr was kicked out of the country in a bloodless EDSA “People Power” Revolution.

While we consider ourselves lucky that we are not among the 199 murder victims in the profession, we can’t help but be increasingly alarmed by the method the assassins used and their style in silencing crusading journalists in the present administration.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) said it would conduct a thorough investigation into Jumalon’s murder, which it described as an “affront to the principles of democracy, freedom of expression, and the sanctity of a free press” even as President Marcos Jr. has condemned the killing and ordered the police “to conduct a thorough investigation to swiftly bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Jumalon’s killing was witnessed in real-time by those listening to his popular Sunday program, “Pahapyod sa Kabuntagon” (Gentle Morning Touch), which was being streamed live on Facebook from his radio station at his home in Barangay Don Bernardo A. Neri, Calamba, Misamis Occidental province.

We demand for a no-nonsense probe on Jumalon’s grisly killing and the immediate arrest of the perpetrators and the mastermind or masterminds.

We aren’t combatants in a democratic country thus the killings of journalist must stop.


Tips to protect ourselves and our family, according to Bank of America.

—Be suspicious of unknown persons calling us. Phone scams aim to heighten our emotional state and create a false sense of urgency—from claiming we owe money to saying w’ve won a prize. Advanced techniques, such as AI technology to impersonate a family member’s voice, have also been used. Hang up and try to make contact directly with the entity or person they claim to be representing.

—Don’t provide any personal or financial information to scammers.

Research a product before purchasing an item from a social media advertisement.

—See a great deal on vitamins while scrolling through our social media? If it seems too good to be true, there’s a chance it could be a scam. Consider learning more about the company first before buying the item. If we have made a purchase, let’s check our statements for recurring charges.

—Going on a trip? Let’s use trusted travel websites. Scammers will often create false websites to advertise for cheap travel. Let’s use trusted travel agents or diligently research websites when booking travel.


MYTH: Our dishwasher will kill all the germs on our plates, etc. REALITY: Only cycles labeled “sanitizing” must meet requirements for germ killing — these are generally longer, and also reach hotter rinse temperatures. Consider using sanitizing option if someone in the family has been sick. It’s probably not needed for our everyday loads if our dishwasher’s doing a fine job on the normal cycle.

MYTH: We should let made-ahead meals cool before we put them in the fridge. REALITY: Large amounts of cooked food should be divided and transferred to shallow containers before refrigerating–and should be chilled immediately. Waiting for the food to cool to room temperature could give bacteria a chance to grow. Today’s refrigerators can handle hot foods. (Source: Kitchen Mythbusters)

SAVING OUR PLANET. Let’s go electric. As far as energy consumption is concerned, an electric shower (which heats water only as required) is usually a more sounder choice than other water heating systems that heat up more water that we need, thereby wasting precious heat energy. (Source: Esme Floyd)

The longest living cells in the body are brain cells which can live an entire lifetime.

Cenophobia is a fear of new ideas. Forever ignorant?

Allodoxaphobia is a fear of opinions.

Monophobia is a fear of being alone.

In 1995, American Gary Kremen secured the rights for the domain He sold the rights in 2006 for US$14 million. What a way to become a multi-millionaire.

In 1609, a doctor named Wecker found a corpse in Bologna with two penises. Since then, there have been 80 documented cases of men similarly endowed.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)