ABS-CBN reporter in Butuan on hit list

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/25 November) — A reporter of TV network ABS-CBN in Butuan City said there’s a plot to kill him after he reported on illegal logging involving a businessman in the city, according to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.

NUJP, in a statement Thursday, quoted Rodge Cultura, a field reporter of ABS-CBN since 2007, as having said a gun-for-hire approached his brother Tuesday morning (November 22) to warn him of the alleged plot.

Cultura said the gun-for-hire, an acquaintance of his brother, had been offered P50,000 for the hit but declined after learning who the target was, the NUJP added.
Butuan City, called “The Timber City of the South” up to the early 70s, is currently known as a transit point for “hot logs” or illegally-cut timber.

Cultura told NUJP his stories have called attention to the illegal activities and may have caused some powerful people to lose money.

The gun-for-hire also warned somebody else may have already accepted the offer, he said.

On the morning of November 23, Cultura said he noticed a man on board a motorcycle seemingly waiting for him as he was on his way to work, the statement said.

He said he became suspicious after the man, who was wearing a crash helmet and sunglasses and who was a few meters in front of him, suddenly stopped and made a u-turn as if to wait for him to pass by. Suspecting an ambush, Cultura said he made a u-turn as well and fled.

The reporter said he had already reported the matter to his superiors in the TV network and to the police authorities. (MindaNews)