Journalists Receive Text Messages Regarding Plan to Assassinate Colleague


The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the National Union of

Journalists Philippines (NUJP) in expressing serious concern about reports of

threats made on the life of a journalist in Kidapawan City.

 

According to reports,

two Kidapawan City journalists received separate but similar text messages

detailing a plan to assassinate a colleague after the May 2013 elections.

 

Malu Manar,

chairperson of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) Kidapawan

City Chapter said she and another journalist received text messages in the early

hours of Sunday, January 13, from a person claiming to be a hired-assassin stating

that a contract had been put out for the killing of fellow Kidapawan City

journalist, Joy Francisco.

 

Manar said the person

who sent the message had identified themselves as a member of a gun-for-hire

group which is linked to the 2011 murder of Italian priest Fr Fausto

"Pops" Tentorio. The sender further alleged that a staff member of a

local politician had promised a member of his group P100,000 for the killing of

Francisco. The sender said they chose to divulge the plot to kill Francisco after

learning that the target is a woman.

 

Manar attempted to

call the number (+63 921 409 5902)

but failed to get through.

 

Francisco, publisher

and editor-in-chief of the Kidapawan City weekly Southern Voice Journal, said she has reported the matter to police

authorities. Francisco has been critical of a particular politician in North

Cotabato in the past but said it is also possible other people may be taking

advantage of her well-known tiff with the local politician to mislead her.

 

The

IFJ joins the NUJP in calling on the police and government of the Philippines

to immediately launch an independent investigation into this threat and act to

bring the perpetrators to justice, ” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park

said.

 

The

Philippines is amongst the most dangerous countries in the world for media

workers. Over 160 journalists have been killed in the Philippines since 1986.

November 2012 marked the third anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre – the

single worst attack of journalists – in which 58 people were killed.

 

 

For

further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0950 

 

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131

countries

 

Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

 

Find the IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific