Reporter Threatened As Philippines Mourns Slain Colleagues


The International

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.


The threat

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,

in November.


“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

Maguindanao massacre.



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.


For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919


The IFJ represents over 600,000

journalists in 125 countries worldwide