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Continuing threats against Filipino TV broadcaster turn personal

The most recent threats sent on 9 August 2013 to a television broadcaster in Manila have gone personal. The threats are linked to a report she made on a tax evasion case filed by the Philippine government against a lawyer of the Ampatuan clan who reportedly bought property owned by his client.

Several members of the clan are under trial for allegedly masterminding and carrying out the November 2009 election-related massacre in Ampatuan town, which killed 58 men, and women of whom 32 were journalists and media workers.

On Friday 9 August, Cecilia "Ces" Orena-Drilon of the ABS-CBN television Network tweeted a screen grab of two text messages she received on the same.

The first text message read: "NO ONE WILL EVER MAKE US DOWN NOT YOU!HAHA YOU MAKING US WELL KNOWN . . . PIPOL SHOULDT KNOW WHATYOU AFTER?I HAVE A LOT OF EVIDENCE TO PUT YOU IN JAIL . . . YOU( . . . . )( . . . . )"

The second text message translates to: "You're whorish, right? You cavorted with your bodyguard that's why your husband left you. You live off other people's money, right? Bribed journalist! Journalist whore, you can't take me on."

As a response to the text messages, Drilon tweeted in Filipino, "Atty. Manoloto, mind your tax evasion case first."

Drilon had reported a tax evasion case filed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) against Arnel Manaloto, a lawyer of massacre suspect Andal Ampatuan Jr. Manaloto allegedly acted as an Ampatuan "dummy" by making it appear that he had bought properties owned by his client.

"I am sharing with you the latest threat to expose this man & to protect myself. I will also seek redress in the courts and before the (Integrated Bar of the Philippines)." Drilon said in another tweet on 9 August.

Drilon said in another tweet that her informant on the tax evasion story, whose identity she said she never disclosed, also received a threatening text message on 8 August from the same mobile phone number, +639981715664.

"(Expletive) woman. I can really bury you alive, your family too . . . " is a translation of a part of the text message sent to Drilon's informant.

"I am revealing threats vs my informant also to protect her. That should anything happen to her, the culprit is known," Drilon added in another tweet last 9 August.

Drilon and her informant had first received text messages from +639981715664 on 27 July. The sender of the text messages posed as Drilon's informant, asking the broadcaster to meet up with her.

On 29 July, Drilon received more text messages from +639981715664, with one saying that Drilon would "explode next", in reference to a bombing in southern Philippines that week.

The anonymous sender again tried to meet up with Drilon after sending her more threatening text messages on 2 August.

Drilon first received threatening text messages from another unregistered mobile phone number in the evening of 24 July, just moments after her report on the tax evasion case aired.

Latest Tweet:

Regional journalists call for job safety for #PapuaNewGuinea media - IFEX https://t.co/qRdDxh5bSZ @seapabkk @acmediaworkers @FORUMFREEDOM