Media security task force seeks NBI, police help for Times reporter

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Manila Times reporter Jomar Canlas at the House Committee on Justice hearing the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on November 27. Photo by Bernard Testa, InterAksyon

MANILA, Philippines — The Presidential Task Force on Media Security has sought the help of the National Bureau of Investigation and the National Capital Region Police Office in dealing with the death threats on Manila Times reporter Jose Marcell “Jomar” Canlas.

The PTFoMS asked NBI Cyber Crime Division chief Manuel Antonio Eduarte and NCRPO director Oscar Albayalde in separate letters “to assess the imminent danger to Mr. Canlas and possibly reveal the identity of the person involved to neutralize the said threats.”

PTFoMS executive director Joel M. Sy Egco also requested the NCRPO to provide a security detail for Canlas.

Canlas believes the death threats he received in text messages were related to his November 27 testimony in the impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

He told PTFoMs that on December 1, he received a text message saying: “P***angina mo jomar canlas, 3 kmi ang papatay syo, marami ka na kasalanan sa amin, magbilin ka na sa asawa mo at anak mo bago ka mamatay. Hdi to pananakot, ds time talagang patay ka jomar (Your mother is a b****, Jomar Canlas. Three of us will kill you. You owe us a lot. Leave your final words to your wife and children before you die. This is not a threat. This time, you’re dead).”

In his sworn statement to the Manila Police District on December 4, Canlas said it the first time he received a threat in his 25 years as a journalist.

Canlas said he could not think of any other cause for the threat aside from his testimony at the impeachment proceedings.