Radio Journalist Threatened in the Philippines

The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is deeply concerned to learn of death threats issued

against a radio broadcaster and office bearer of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines

(NUJP) in Cotabato City, Mindanao, in the southern Philippines.


Vern Simon, 42, vice chair of the NUJP’s Cotabato

City chapter and a

reporter at radio station dxMS, owned by the Notre Dame Broadcasting

Corporation, said the threats were relayed to him by friends, reported IFJ

affiliate the NUJP.

Simon, who anchors a daily editorial program Punto't Opinyon, told the NUJP he had heard of threats since May 16, but only

took them seriously when the threats were confirmed by friends in the military

and police intelligence community. The source of the threats is unknown.


Simon was alerted to the latest

threat on June 1, when several men arrived at the dxMS office looking for Simon,

introduced themselves as members of the intelligence unit of the Marine Battalion

Landing Team (MLBT) and said that Simon had been threatened.


Simon later called MBLT-7 Commanding

Officer Doroteo Jose Jalandoni, who confirmed that his unit has received word

that there was an imminent threat to kill Simon. Jalandoni promised to provide Simon

with full security.


Cotabato City councillor Willy Bueno

also alerted Simon he had received similar information from his “sources”.Simon has not received a direct threat as yet.


Edwin Fernandez, dxMS station

manager, said the station’s management had put in place safety measures in

response to the threats and instructed other reporters on safety precautions.


Fernandez said threats against local

journalists were not uncommon, and Cotabato

City was known as a haven

for guns-for-hire.


“The IFJ is extremely concerned for

the safety of journalist and union official Vern Simon,” IFJ

Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.


“The rapid response to the threats by

the authorities and Simon’s employer is to be applauded – this quick action discourages

those who make these cowardly threats to journalists and media workers.” 


For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +61 2 9333 0919



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