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Newspaper columnist receives death threat following her criticism of government

(CMFR/IFEX) - A newspaper columnist critical of the Arroyo government has received a death threat via email warning her that her criticism of the regime may cost her life.

Ellen Tordesillas, who writes for the daily newspaper "Malaya" and the daily tabloid "Abante", found the emailed death threat when she checked her inbox on 30 September 2007. The email was time-stamped 3:53 a.m. (local time) of the same day and was sent by a certain "Alfred Cruz" using the email address [email protected]

The message read: "Beware when you go out because I will have you abducted, and to stop your foul mouth I will make you eat barbed wire and swallow it whole, then I will crucify you and will wrap barbed wire around your body, you daughter of a whore, your tirades against the government are no longer amusing!!! Your housemates may also be included (. . . ) daughter of a whore!!! Beware!!!"

Tordesillas believes the threat was in reaction to a column she wrote for "Abante" on 30 September 2007 entitled "Utak barbed-wire" (Barbed-wire mentality), where she criticized the Philippine president for condemning the situation in Myanmar when, according to Tordesillas, activists who criticize the Arroyo government are killed by the military.

Tordesillas ignores the origin of the message and has already reported the incident to the National Bureau of Investigation. She stated that the threat has not affected her work as a journalist.

The journalist received another death threat through email in November 2006; the message asked what type of death she preferred and stated that she was too brave for her own good (see IFEX alert of 13 November 2006).

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