IFJ Concerned after Reporter in Philippines Receives Threatening Visitors

The International Federation

of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the National Union of Journalists

Philippines (NUJP) in expressing concern after a reporter filed a report with

police about two men on a motorcycle who arrived at

her home seeming intent to threaten her.

 

Julie Alipala, Mindanao correspondent for the Philippine

Daily Inquirer filed a report with

the Zamboanga City Police, in Mindanao, Philippines on September 14.

According to reports from the

NUJP, Alipala also narrated the incident on her Facebook page reporting that

two men wearing full-faced helmets stopped at the gate to her house. The back

rider got off the bike and asked Alipala’s son about her whereabouts. Her son

said she was inside the house. 

Alipala reported that the rider on the back of the bike removed his helmet and

requested her son call her; she was about to exit the house, but noticed their

motorbike had no licence plate number.

“At the doorstep (which she estimated to be four meters to the gate), I asked

[one of the two men, in a clean white shirt] what they wanted. [I] also noticed

that the motorbike's engine was running. I asked again about their intention in

a loud tone. The guy said they just want to know if I am selling the Wrangler

[Jeep parked outside the house]. I said no and [when I was] about to ask why,

they left hastily,” Alipala said.

 

At around 11:00pm on September 14, Alipala

again posted a message on her Facebook page, assuring concerned friends and

colleagues of her safety.  In the same post, she said the incident may be

linked to her reports on the arrest of alleged perpetrators of two kidnapping

incidents--those of an Indian national in Sulu, and a Chinese national in

Zamboanga. 

 

The

arrests, “sparked so many questions against an official” said Alipala. She did

not reveal the name and position of the official. 

 

Assailants on motorbikes have become

common perpetrators of attacks on media workers in the Philippines, which is also

a reason why the incident has caused great anxiety.

 

Julie Alipala is a member of NUJP’s national directorate and has covered various difficult and dangerous

issues, including kidnapping incidents and has reported

on armed

groups such as the Abu Sayyaf  and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Those responsible are yet to be identified, but the NUJP

is highly concerned by the incident.

 

“The IFJ expresses its concern over this suspicious

incident the Philippines.” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said. “We

call on the authorities of the Philippines to ensure the safety of all media

personnel in the Philippines, and that relevant police reports are taken

seriously and such incidents are swiftly investigated.”

 

The

NUJP is currently asking Alipala what security measures she may need.

 

For

further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0918

 

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131

countries

 

Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

 

Find the IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific