The International Federation of
Journalists (IFJ) is deeply concerned to learn of threats made against two
media practitioners in the Bicol Region of the Philippines.
IFJ’s affiliate, the National Union of
Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP),
was informed that Mayon Times Publisher, Leonard “Leo” Balsarza,Jr, received a .38 calibre bullet in a brown
envelope with the words “Doronela and Balsarza Warning” written on the front in
The 63 year
old publisher said his son found the envelope at the front door of their family
home in Lagazpi City on the morning of July 27. Balsarza also said a witness saw a
person wearing a mask on board of a motorcycle near their house.
It is believed that Doronela refers
to Lamberto Doronela, a columnist at the Mayon
Times and host at a local radio station in Legazpi City.
Doronela told the NUJP he often
writes about diverse local issues, using a variety of informants and denies
having personal dealings with people involved in the issues he writes about.
“It is alarming to see threats made
against journalists who are simply engaged in reporting legitimate issues
concerning their local community,” IFJ Asia-Pacific
Director Jacqueline Park said.
“The IFJ calls for a full
investigation to be conducted into the threats, with a view to ensuring these
threats are not repeated.”
Philippines is amongst the most dangerous countries in the world for media
workers. Over 150 journalists have been killed in the line of duty in the
Philippines since 1986.
further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0950
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