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In Philippines, journalist threatened over corruption broadcast

A journalist in Catarman City received threatening text messages on 12 September 2014 while he was on-air discussing corruption allegations against the former governor of Northern Samar province. He claimed that after which, he noticed three vehicles tailed him after his broadcast and the following day.

Catarman City in Northern Samar province is approximately 700 kilometers south of Metro Manila.

"If you do not stop talking, I will cut your throat," read a text message sent to journalist Eladio Perfecto while he was on-air Friday night [12 September].

Perfecto co-hosts the radio program Boses San Masa (Voice of the Masses) with Rey Orsua, which airs on 102.3 J FM from 6 to 8:00 p.m. on weekdays.

Aside from being J FM's station manager, Perfecto is also the publisher of the Catarman Weekly Tribune, a contributor for InterAksyon.com, and the chairperson of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) Northern Samar chapter.

Perfecto and Orsua were discussing the on-going investigation on allegedly dubious deals made by Northern Samar's former governor, Paul Daza, with his allied mayors.

Another text message warned Perfecto that those who criticize Daza get shot.

Perfecto said he tried to call the numbers used to send the text messages but they were already out of service. He reported the incident to the police after his program.

On his way home on his motorcycle, he said he noticed a closed van type of vehicle tailing him. He changed his usual route and spent the night somewhere else instead of his home.

The next morning, Perfecto's staff noticed two men in motorcycles loitering outside the radio station. Perfecto said he will be meeting with the police to discuss his security.

Former governor Daza could not be reached for comment.

In December 2006, Perfecto survived a slay attempt. The assailant's gun jammed after the first shot missed Perfecto, according to an NUJP alert.

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