Federation of Journalists (IFJ) demands the Philippines
Government urgently investigate a threatening message sent to Philippines Daily
Inquirer and GMA7 News TV correspondent Williamor Magbanua in the southern Philippines
According to the National Union of
Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP),
Magbanua, 30, received a wreath containing a threatening note at his home in Kidapawan City,
Cotabato Province, Mindanao.
The note, purporting to have been sent
by New People’s Army (NPA) regional commander Valentine Palamine, accused Magbanua
of defamatory reporting about a political candidate.
an IFJ affiliate, reports doubts about whether the NPA was the source of the
threat, as the note’s letterhead appeared not to be authentic. It is therefore
unclear who is responsible.
Magbanua, who also works as an
information officer for North Cotabato Second District Representative Bernardo
Pinol Jr, reported to the NUJP that he
had noticed two motorcyclists following him in recent days.
“The IFJ demands current and future
power-holders in the Philippines,
including candidates for upcoming presidential and national elections, take
firm and swift action against those who attack and threaten media personnel,” IFJ Asia-Pacific DirectorJacqueline Park said.
against Magbanua is the latest in a series levelled against Philippines journalists, including Newsbreak editor-in-chief
Marites Danguilan Vitug, who received threats in March following publication of her book on allegations of
corruption in the Supreme Court.
During a candlelit march and vigil
in Manila on April 23, the NUJP re-iterated the urgent need to protect journalists
in the Philippines,
especially in the lead-up to the May elections. The vigil marked five months since the murder of 32 journalists and
media personnel among 58 people massacred in Maguindanao, Mindanao,
“We have faith that threats such as
these will not deter journalists from conducting their professional work ahead
of the elections,” Park said. “But journalists must be assured of full
protection, justice and respect for the right to conduct their work without
fear of violence and intimidation.”
IFJ remains deeply concerned that the current Government of Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo ordered prosecutors to
drop murder charges against Zaldy and Akmad Ampatuan, key suspects in
again calls on all candidates running for president to make a public commitment
to overturn the country’s culture of impunity for violence against journalists
and media personnel.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 600,000
journalists in 125 countries worldwide