IFJ Condemns Serious Threats Against Two Journalists in Philippines


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

red ink.


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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