Media groups decry death threat vs Manila Times reporter
Media organizations have condemned the death threat against a justice beat reporter, who testified in a congressional hearing on the impeachment case against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
Manila Times senior reporter Jomar Canlas said that on December 1, he received two identical text messages from anonymous persons threatening to kill the journalist.
The text message reads: “P******** mo jomar canlas, 3 kmi ang papatay syo, marami ka na kasalanan sa amin, magbilin ka na sa asawa mo at anak mo, bago ka mamatay. Hdi to pananakot, ds time talagang patay ka jomar.”
In a statement, the Justice and Court Reporters Association (JUCRA) “strongly condemned” the death threat against their “colleague and friend.”
JUCRA called on authorities to investigate the matter and run after those who are responsible for the “dastardly criminal act.”
“As vanguards of truth in the Justice and Judiciary beat, we stand behind Jomar against this act of cowardice and attack on our constitutionally enshrined freedom of the press,” JUCRA said.
“We must never allow intimidation and harassment of journalists as we stand pat on our duty as a watchdog of democracy,” it added.
Meanwhile, the Justice Reporters Organization (JUROR), where Canlas is a founder, stressed that such death threats have “no place in democracy” as it is a direct attack on press freedom.
“To renege on our responsibility in upholding the truth at all times is to betray our social contract with the people. To stifle that responsibility, in whatever manner, is a betrayal of truth itself,” JUROR said.
The National Press Club (NPC), for its part, lauded the Presidential Task Force on Media Security for taking immediate notice on the threat against the reporter.
“With the PTFoMS immediately taking over the case of Canlas as assured to me by Usec. Joel Sy Egco, it raised our optimism that no further harm can come to him and that those behind this cowardly act shall soon be unmasked,” said NPC president Paul Gutierrez.
“This incident clearly showed that violence and threats of violence against the media are not only prevalent in the countryside where the majority of victims are community-based journalists but that they can happen anywhere to included urban-based journalists like Canlas,” Gutierrez also said.
The Manila Police District (MPD) has already announced that it will investigate the death threat against Canlas. /kga
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