The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its
affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) in expressing
deep concern over recent threats made to four journalists and a newspaper
to NUJP reports, the media personnel were threatened in separate incidents immediately following
articles and on-air statements made concerning illegal logging activities in
Mindanao, in the southern Philippines.
Two commentators from the RMN-dxBC 693 AM radio
station based in Butuan City - Sasie Babar and her co-anchor Gerry Campos of
the daily morning radio program ’Straight to the Point’ - were threatened via text
message on June 18 in connection with their on-air commentaries on illegal
logging operations in the Caraga region of the Philippines. Both threats read
"Prepare your coffins, this is from Cabantian. If you try to intervene
with Edma (referring to businessman Roger Edma) your birthday will really
change." Babar said they had been discussing the recent series of
confiscations of illegally logged trees in Butuan.
correspondent for the Mindanao Gold Star
Daily in Cagayan de Oro City, also received death threats via text
message on June 17 following an article he wrote on June 15 about the proposed
filing of charges against prominent
businessman Roger Edma by the Department of Interior and Local
Government. Iyo alleged that Edma had made the threats. In response, Edma allegedly challenged Iyo to
publish the death threat in his newspaper.
editor-in-chief, Edilberto "Herbie" Gomez allegedly received a
similarly-worded text message on the morning on June 19, saying he would be
“fed to a crocodile”, and also made a threatening reference to Ernesto Chu, the
publisher of the newspaper.
made to Babar, Campos and Gomez reportedly all came from the same cell phone
reported the threats to the Philippines Criminal Investigation and Detection
Group (CIDG) and Iyo made a report to the police.
“The Philippines is
amongst the most dangerous countries in the world for media workers and threats
seeking to silence journalists are far too common” Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.
“The IFJ joins the NUJP in calling
on the authorities of the Philippines to investigate all threats swiftly and for
the perpetrators to be brought to justice, and the safety of journalists to be ensured.”
further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0950
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