The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is concerned for the safety of tabloid newspaper reporter Jet Sinocruz after death threats were sent to his mobile phone via text message.
Sinocruz, a reporter for Abante, received a text message from an unknown sender on his birthday, warning him to enjoy his birthday celebrations as they would be his last.
According to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), an IFJ affiliate, a formal report has been filed at the Quezon City Police Districts’ Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit.
The IFJ is concerned that Sinocruz may be targeted for a series of articles he wrote about alleged corruption by city councillors and the rising incidence of car theft in 2007.
“Intimidation tactics of such a serious nature demonstrate a lack of respect for the professional roles and responsibilities of journalists and their basic human right to personal safety,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.
“The police must respond quickly to investigate the threat and to ensure adequate protection of Sinocruz and all journalists in the Philippines.”
The NUJP also reports concerns about the Air Transportation Office’s declaration of a “no-fly zone” over the Makati central business district during a rally on February 29. The decision prevented helicopters such as the ABS-CBN Network’s Sky Patrol from covering the public event.
The NUJP said the action infringed on press freedom and the people’s right to know.
The IFJ joins the NUJP in urging local authorities and the Philippine National Police to allow journalists and media vehicles access to public events without fear of arrest or hindrance.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries