MANILA – The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) condemned a threat received by ABS-CBN correspondent Ces Orena-Drilon via a text message.
Drilon said that after her report on the tax evasion case against Ampatuan lawyer Arnel Manaloto aired, she received a text message on her personal mobile phone, warning her to pick her enemies.
NUJP commended Drilon for “making the threat public and urged other colleagues to do the same should they find themselves in similar situations.”
“We also urge media outfits to ensure the safety and security of their employees as well as provide them with the training to do so,” the NUJP said in a statement.
“Most of all, we challenge the government to fulfill its mandate to protect the lives and liberties, not just of journalists, but of all citizens, by putting an end to the impunity with which human rights are violated in this country, starting with solving the extrajudicial killings and other abuses inflicted on media workers, activists, clergy, indigenous people, lawyers and others for deigning to exercise what the Constitution guarantees all of us, our right to free expression,” it added.
In her report, Drilon quoted a source as saying that Manoloto is being used by the Ampatuans as a “dummy” to hide their assets.
ABS-CBN strived to get Manaloto's side several times, but he responded by sending a text message through his legal secretary saying he does not grant interviews and he deserved privacy as a private citizen.