Party-list lawmaker bares death threatsBy Matikas Santos
DEATH THREATS Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares discloses that he and Congressman Teodoro Casino have received death threats through text messages. Video by INQUIRER.net's Matikas Santos; edited by Ryan Leagogo
MANILA, Philippines—Prosecution member and Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares said Wednesday that he and Congressman Teddy Casiño had received death threats through text messages and letters to their office.
The death threats started February 17 and stopped on March 7 after he had informed the House of Representatives Security Bureau who in turn informed the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP).
“The House Security Bureau informed the ISAFP on March 6 and on March 7 and the death threats stopped coming into my and Congressman Teodoro Casiño’s cellphones,” Colmenares said.
Colmenares said he did not disclose the matter to the media in order to be discreet in the investigation of who was sending the threats.
“We’re still asking the authorities to pursue the investigation despite the fact that the threats have stopped,” Colmenares said.
Threats to family
Colmenares said that “20 percent of the threats were against me but 80 percent was against my family.”
Colmenares said that the threats would go like “today is Sunday, you are having your family day, enjoy, because it is your last day together.”
“When you cross the line and threaten the family of another person, that’s really, not just foul but a different matter altogether,” Colmenares said.
He said that he is seldom able to go out with his family and yet it will be ruined by the death threats.
Bayan Muna’s advocacy
Colmenares said that he could not pinpoint the reason for the threats because of the many issues that his party list group is advocating.
“Other than the impeachment, we have cases filed against Gloria Arroyo, we have investigations into human rights violations in the military, we have advocacies against the ‘Big Three’ [oil companies] for the oil price hike, and mining companies,” Colmenares said.
“We are pushing for advocacies, we should be fought with counter advocacies and not physical threats to us,” Colmenares.
He challenged the one threatening him, “don’t be a coward, face us in our advocacy and don’t resort to threats on our persons and our family.”