Originally published on the CMFR website on 14 September 2016.
CMFR/PHILIPPINES – A radio reporter said he received death threats via mobile phone 7 September 2016 about a week after reporting being threatened by tourist policeman in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu. Lapu-Lapu City is 845 kilometers south of Manila.
DySS Super Radyo (RGMA) reporter Norman Mendoza said he received death threats through text messages, warning him that he is constantly being monitored and that he only has until All Souls ’ day (November 2) to live. The sender also accused him of being a corrupt leader of the media.
Mendoza is the president of the “Association of Reporters in Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu in Truth and Excellence.”
About a week earlier, Mendoza reported that SPO2 Esnang Sarapuddin of the Lapu-Lapu Tourist Police (LTP) had indirectly threatened to kill him while he was covering the demolition of an informal settler community under the Mandaue-Mactan Bridge.
The two had an earlier confrontation in May 2016 when Mendoza covered the story of a British national who had attacked a Singaporean. Mendoza slammed Sarapuddin for allegedly giving special treatment to the Briton. Sarapuddin later claimed hearing Mendoza on his radio reports saying that he should be sent to Jolo.
Mendoza told Sarapuddin that if he finds anything wrong with his report, he should file a complaint against him. According to Mendoza, Sarapudin said “We Muslims do not file a case, we just do it directly.” Mendoza interpreted the remark as a threat.
Mendoza added that the policeman later told him “If I’m a bad Muslim, I would have had you killed already.”
Two unidentified men also allegedly went to Mendoza’s residence in Mandaue City and asked his wife where he was.
Mendoza reported the incident to the Lapu-Lapu Police Station 3. Sarapuddin is now under investigation and has been transferred from the LTP to the City Public Safety Company (CPSC). According to a Sun.Star report, Sarapuddin may be transferred to Cordillera if proven guilty.