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IFJ demands that government protect threatened journalist

(IFJ/IFEX) - February 9, 2010 - The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) in demanding the Philippines authorities respond immediately to protect Malu Cadelina Manar, the chairwoman of the NUJP's Kidapawan City chapter in Mindanao.

Manar received a series of death threats by cell phone soon after conducting an interview about motorcycle thefts with North Cotabato police director Senior Superintendent Norberto Batisalong on Kidapwatan's dxND radio network.

The first message said: "Masaket ka magsolte Malo maghulat ka kay kame ang magdurog at magwasak sa imo [You speak harshly, Malu, you wait because we will crush and destroy you]."

A second message acknowledged that those behind the threats could identify her. It said: "Kilala ka namo. Baga imo glasses [We know you. You have thick glasses]."

"Too many journalists' lives have been lost in the Philippines, notably in Mindanao, due to the failure of authorities to respond to intimidation and threats of violence against the media," IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.

"Immediate action must be taken by the Philippines police to provide every protection to Malu Cadelina Manar to ensure her safety."

The IFJ joins the NUJP in demanding that the Government of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo take immediate concrete action to end impunity for violence against journalists.

According to a report released by the IFJ and an International Solidarity Mission to the Philippines to investigate the massacre in which 32 journalists and media workers were killed in Maguindanao province, Mindanao, on November 23, 137 journalists have met violent deaths in the Philippines from 1986 until the end of 2009.

Click here to read the report "Massacre in the Philippines: International Solidarity Mission Rapid Assessment"
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