IFJ Condemns Threats Made to Philippines Journalists

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its

affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) in expressing

deep concern over recent threats made to four journalists and a newspaper

publisher.

 

According

to NUJP reports, the media personnel were threatened in separate incidents immediately following

articles and on-air statements made concerning illegal logging activities in

Mindanao, in the southern Philippines.

 

Two commentators from the RMN-dxBC 693 AM radio

station based in Butuan City - Sasie Babar and her co-anchor Gerry Campos of

the daily morning radio program ’Straight to the Point’ - were threatened via text

message on June 18 in connection with their on-air commentaries on illegal

logging operations in the Caraga region of the Philippines. Both threats read

"Prepare your coffins, this is from Cabantian. If you try to intervene

with Edma (referring to businessman Roger Edma) your birthday will really

change." Babar said they had been discussing the recent series of

confiscations of illegally logged trees in Butuan.

 

Edwin Iyo,

correspondent for the Mindanao Gold Star

Daily in Cagayan de Oro City, also received death threats via text

message on June 17 following an article he wrote on June 15 about the proposed

filing of charges against prominent

businessman Roger Edma by the Department of Interior and Local

Government.  Iyo alleged that Edma had made the threats.  In response, Edma allegedly challenged Iyo to

publish the death threat in his newspaper.

 

Iyo's

editor-in-chief, Edilberto "Herbie" Gomez allegedly received a

similarly-worded text message on the morning on June 19, saying he would be

“fed to a crocodile”, and also made a threatening reference to Ernesto Chu, the

publisher of the newspaper.

 

The threats

made to Babar, Campos and Gomez reportedly all came from the same cell phone

number.

 

Babar

reported the threats to the Philippines Criminal Investigation and Detection

Group (CIDG) and Iyo made a report to the police.

 

“The Philippines is

amongst the most dangerous countries in the world for media workers and threats

seeking to silence journalists are far too common” Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.

 

“The IFJ joins the NUJP in calling

on the authorities of the Philippines to investigate all threats swiftly and for

the perpetrators to be brought to justice, and the safety of journalists to be ensured.”

 

For

further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 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