Journalists Receive Text Messages Regarding Plan to Assassinate Colleague

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the National Union of Journalists Philippines (NUJP) in expressing serious concern about reports of threats made on the life of a journalist in Kidapawan City.


According to reports, two Kidapawan City journalists received separate but similar text messages detailing a plan to assassinate a colleague after the May 2013 elections.


Malu Manar, chairperson of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) Kidapawan City Chapter said she and another journalist received text messages in the early hours of Sunday, January 13, from a person claiming to be a hired-assassin stating that a contract had been put out for the killing of fellow Kidapawan City journalist, Joy Francisco.


Manar said the person who sent the message had identified themselves as a member of a gun-for-hire group which is linked to the 2011 murder of Italian priest Fr Fausto "Pops" Tentorio. The sender further alleged that a staff member of a local politician had promised a member of his group P100,000 for the killing of Francisco. The sender said they chose to divulge the plot to kill Francisco after learning that the target is a woman.


Manar attempted to call the number (+63 921 409 5902) but failed to get through.


Francisco, publisher and editor-in-chief of the Kidapawan City weekly Southern Voice Journal, said she has reported the matter to police authorities. Francisco has been critical of a particular politician in North Cotabato in the past but said it is also possible other people may be taking advantage of her well-known tiff with the local politician to mislead her.


The IFJ joins the NUJP in calling on the police and government of the Philippines to immediately launch an independent investigation into this threat and act to bring the perpetrators to justice, ” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.


The Philippines is amongst the most dangerous countries in the world for media workers. Over 160 journalists have been killed in the Philippines since 1986. November 2012 marked the third anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre – the single worst attack of journalists – in which 58 people were killed.



For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0950 


The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries


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