MANILA - Manila Times reporter Jomar Canlas sought police protection from death threats on Wednesday, about a week after he testified in the House justice panel hearing on the impeachment against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
Accompanied by fellow journalists, Canlas told the Manila Police District (MPD) that he received 2 text messages containing death threats last Friday. The text messages came from an anonymous number.
"3 kmi ang papatay syo, marami ka na kasalanan sa amin, magbilin ka na sa asawa at anak mo, bago ka mamatay," one message read.
MPD assigned 2 escorts to Canlas and directed him to execute a statement.
Lawyer Larry Gadon, who filed the impeachment against Sereno, earlier claimed that Canlas had confirmed that the Chief Justice allegedly fabricated a temporary restraining order in 2013.
Gadon said Canlas, who reported on the issue, got his information from Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo De Castro.
The reporter however testified that De Castro was not his source. He also denied that he disclosed his source to Gadon.
The Justice Reporters Organization said the death threat against Canlas is a "direct attack on press freedom, which has no place in a democracy."
The Justice and Court Reporters Association meanwhile said it stands behind Canlas against the "act of cowardice and attack on our constitutionally enshrined freedom of the press." They urged authorities to go after the perpetrators of the "dastardly criminal act."