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Journalists receive threatening text message

(IFJ/IFEX) - The following is an IFJ media release:

Harassment of Philippines Journalists Via Text Message Threats Continues

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) calls for heightened protection of journalists Rey Briones and Turing Sante in the Philippines after reports of an anonymous text message warning their lives were in danger.

According to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), an IFJ affiliate, Briones, 29, co-anchor of a daily radio commentary program for dwKI-FM in Lucena City and reporter and columnist for local tabloid Southern Tagalog Banner received the text message on October 20.

The message also reportedly mentioned Sante, Briones' co-host on dwKI-FM.

Briones is known for tackling issues such as corruption, governance and the environment in his radio show and newspaper articles, the NUJP said.

Earlier two Davao City-based journalists, Erin Lumosbog, anchor of Radyo Ronda on the RPN9-dxKT network, and James Pala, of Radyo Rapido, both reported receiving threatening text messages after broadcasting allegations about local council extortion on October 10.

"This apparent pattern of members of the public attacking and threatening individual journalists for unfavourable reporting is abhorrent and must end," said IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park.

"The IFJ stands in solidarity with our colleagues in the Philippines in their courageous work, and reminds all journalists and media institutions that at such a dangerous time for media workers in the Philippines, personal safety must be protected zealously."

The IFJ joins the NUJP in urging journalists who receive similar threats to immediately report the incident to the police, and demanding that police reciprocate by providing full protection for each individual and their families until the perpetrators are found and brought to justice.

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide.

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