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Radio Journalist Threatened


Radio Journalist Threatened

QUEZON CITY (CMFR/Pacific Media Watch): On 3 January 2003, the mayor of a city in Pangasinan province, Northern Philippines, allegedly threatened to harm and kill a radio station manager and commentator after he reported that an illegal numbers game was widespread in the mayor's city. The mayor later apologised.

Orly Navarro said that Mayor Julian V. Resuello of San Carlos City threatened him during an informal gathering with media personalities and Pangasinan town mayors at a local hotel. Navarro is the station manager of, and a commentator for Super Radyo in nearby Dagupan City and former president of the Pangasinan Press and Radio Club (PPRC).

In an interview with CMFR on 7 January, Navarro said that after he was introduced to Resuello, the mayor, "who was raging like a bull," shouted invectives at him and attempted to slap him. Navarro added that Resuello repeatedly threatened to kill him and showed him his gun to emphasise the
threat.

According to Navarro, Resuello kept on saying that "no media person – friend or foe - has the right to criticise" him. Apparently, Resuello was upset about one of Navarro's reports in his radio programme "Super Isyu tan Komentaryo" during which he stated that "jueteng", an illegal numbers game, "is still rampant in San Carlos City."

A press statement by the Katipunan ng mga Mamamahayag sa Pangasinan (League of Journalists of Pangasinan, or KMP) later declared that Navarro "was [just] quoting the result of a survey conducted by the Lingayen-Dagupan [Catholic] archdiocese."

The two other mayors present at the meeting calmed Resuello, ending what could have been a bloody incident.

The KMP, formed as an offshoot of this incident, denounced Resuello's act as "an affront not only to Mr. Navarro but to the Pangasinan media as a whole." The group's statement also noted there have been similar incidents between Resuello and other media personalities in Pangasinan in the past.

Navarro said the PPRC had requested that he come to a meeting on 6 January so that the group could look into the case, but that upon receiving information that Resuello would also be attending, he walked out. "It was like a set-up," Navarro said.

The mayor went to Navarro's radio station on 7 January and apologised to him. Despite Resuello's apologies, however, the broadcaster is still planning "to get justice."

For further information, contact Melinda Quintos de Jesus, Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), e-mail: cmfr@surfshop.net.ph,
Internet: http://www.cmfr.com.ph

+++niuswire

PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH ONLINE
http://www.pmw.c2o.org

PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is an independent, non-profit, non-government organisation comprising journalists, lawyers, editors and other media workers, dedicated to examining issues of ethics, accountability, censorship, media freedom and media ownership in the Pacific region.
Launched in October 1996, it has links with the Journalism Program at the University of the South Pacific, Bushfire Media based in Sydney, Journalism Studies at the University of PNG (UPNG), the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ), Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, and Community Communications Online (c2o).

(c)1996-2003 Copyright - All rights reserved.

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