PRESS STATEMENT (ON THE DEATH THREAT VS. JOMAR CANLAS)

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PRESS STATEMENT
(ON THE DEATH THREAT VS. JOMAR CANLAS)
December 5, 2017
Ref.: Paul M. Gutierrez

Says much work needs to be done against culture of impunity
NPC DEPLORES DEATH THREAT VS.
MANILA TIMES REPORTER JOMAR CANLAS

THE National Press Club of the Philippines (NPC) is strongly condemning the death threats received by Manila Times court reporter, Jomar Canlas, as these threats clearly show that much work needs to be done to address the prevailing culture of impunity in the country.

At the same time, NPC president Paul M. Gutierrez also lauded the members of the Manila Police District Press Corps (MPD) for immediately assisting Canlas when he came to the MPD on Monday to report to the police the threatening text messages he received last Friday, December 1, 2017.

“The NPC also lauds the decision of colleague Jomar Canlas to immediately report the threat of being murdered sent to him via text messages and not treat the matter lightly, which has been the mistake of our other colleagues who had come to harm,” Gutierrez added.

Prior to receiving the threatening messages, Canlas was a resource person in a congressional committee probing the impeachment complaint against Supreme Court chief justice, Ma. Lourdes Sereno.

“This incident clearly showed that violence and threats of violence against the media are not only prevalent in the countryside where the majority of victims are community-based journalists but that they can happen anywhere to included urban-based journalists like Canlas.

“This incident also showed that despite the collective efforts of the media community and other stakeholders, the culture of impunity in the country remains strong and that much work still needs to be done,” Gutierrez stressed.

Gutierrez also lauded the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS), where the NPC is a member, for taking immediate notice on the threat against Canlas.

“With the PTFoMS immediately taking over the case of Canlas as assured to me by Usec. Joel Sy Egco, it raised our optimism that no further harm can come to him and that those behind this cowardly act shall soon be unmasked,” Gutierrez said. ###

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