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Another Mindanao radio anchor receives threat over mining stories

UPDATE: Threats against Mati-based broadcaster continue (CMFR, 16 May 2012)

(CMFR/IFEX) - 14 May 2012 - A Mati City-based radio commentator received a threatening text message (SMS) last 10 May 2012, just two days after the killing of radio broadcaster Nestor Libaton in the same city. Mati is the capital of Davao Oriental, a province approximately 1,027 kilometers south of Manila.

At around 8:30 a.m., dxWM-Sunrise FM commentator Lito Labra received a text message from an individual threatening to harm him and his family for his commentaries on mining. The text message was sent from mobile number (+632) 929 964 0808.

Libaton was shot dead on his way home to Mati City last 8 May 2012. He and colleague Eldon Cruz came from Tarragona town where they had interviewed village officials about the recent festival. Police are still looking into the identity of the gunman and his two accomplices.

In an interview with the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) last 11 May 2012, Labra said he had been receiving death threats since he started discussing illegal mining and logging issues on his radio program in early 2012.

Using GPS, dxWM-Sunrise FM was able to pinpoint the location of the mobile phone used in sending the threat in downtown Mati. However, Labra said they lost the signal while on the way to the area.

Meanwhile, dxWM station manager Bobong Alcantara said in a separate interview that the staff and anchormen of dxWM were to meet on 11 May 2012 to discuss precautionary measures.

Labra said he had reported the threats to the local office of the Philippine National Police, and he and his family have been assigned three security personnel.

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