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Tabloid columnist keeps getting death threats

/ 05:46 AM December 09, 2017

A tabloid columnist who had written pieces critical of an undersecretary tasked to handle cases of media violence received another death threat, this time on his home land line.

According to the wife of columnist Mat Vicencio, a man called up on Tuesday afternoon and told him: “Tigil mo na ‘yang kalokohan mo. May katapusan din ‘yan (Stop that foolishness of yours; even that will come to an end).”

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Vicencio earlier received a death threat via text message on Nov. 22.

What worries the couple now is that the latest threat came from someone who knew the number of their home land line, which was installed six months ago, said Dona Policar, the columnist’s wife and editor in chief of another tabloid, Bandera.

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“It was Mat who picked up the phone and he did not recognize the voice,” Policar said in an Inquirer interview on Thursday.

“This is the first time we faced death threats of this kind. Essentially, (the source of the threat) has managed to enter our house,” said Policar.

The couple, who have been journalists for more than two decades, have three children.

On Nov. 28, Vicencio issued a statement about the first threat and accused Undersecretary Joel Sy Egco, executive director of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security, of being behind it.

The Hataw columnist then said he received a threat “as a result of a column that I wrote critical of a government official’s handling of the cases of slain journalists under the Duterte administration.”

In an interview on Radyo Inquirer on Thursday, Egco again denied Vicencio’s allegation, saying he was not the type who would threaten people.

A “third party,” he said, may be taking advantage of the rift between him and the columnist.

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Egco added that it was impossible for the threat to come from him because his office had been too busy attending lately to the case of Jomar Canlas, the Manila Times reporter who had been receiving menacing messages.

The undersecretary, himself a former newsman, earlier spoke of plans to take legal action against Vicencio for making the allegation.

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TAGS: Dona Policar, Joel Sy Egco, Mat Vicencio, Presidential Task Force on Media Security, tabloid columnist
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