Kidapawan scribe on hit list?

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/15 January) – A contract to kill a journalist based in Kidapawan City after the May 13 elections has reportedly been put out, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said in a statement today.

Details of the supposed plan to kill Joy Francisco were contained in text messages to Malu Manar, chair of the NUJP in Kidapawan, and another journalist on Sunday, January 13.

Francisco is the publisher and editor-in-chief of the weekly Southern Voice Journal.

The statement quoted Manar as saying the texter identified himself as a member of a gun-for-hire group which is suspected to be involved in the 2011 murder of Italian priest Fr. Fausto “Pops” Tentorio.

“The texter further alleged that a staff of a local politician had set up a meeting with a member of his group and has promised to pay P100,000.00 for the killing of Francisco. The texter said he chose to divulge the plan to kill Francisco  after learning that the target is a woman,” it added.

Manar attempted to call the number (+639214095902) but failed.

“It is unclear why the text was sent to Manar and not directly to Francisco,” the statement said.

Francisco said she has reported the matter to police authorities.

“Francisco has been critical of a particular politician in North Cotabato in the past but said it is also possible other people may be taking advantage of her well-known tiff with the local politician to mislead her,” the NUJP said. (MindaNews)