Radio anchor gets threat for criticizing Isabelle Duterte

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 19 Dec) – A radio anchor based in Davao City received death threats via text messages on Monday after she criticized Isabelle Duterte, the granddaughter of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, for her pictorial in the Malacañang Palace.

In a statement released by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) on Tuesday, Kathyrine Xerxis M. Cortes, 28, a radio anchor of Radyo ni Juan, got a series of threatening text messages from an unknown sender warning her to slow down on her criticism of the Duterte administration.

The NUJP said Cortes likened the “inappropriateness and excessive display of the Duterte family’s wealth” to that of the lavish lifestyle of the family of late strongman Ferdinand Marcos Sr. during her five-minute radio segment Morning Review. Marcos ruled as president from 1965 to1986.

Isabelle, the daughter of Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte with ex-wife Lovelie Sangkola Sumera, drew the ire of netizens for her “inappropriate” pre-debut pictorial inside the Malacañang Palace.

The group added the unknown sender accused the radio anchor of siding with the communists for her sharp commentaries against the current administration.

The first message that Cortes received at 9:24 a.m. read, “Hinay2 lang bata ka pa! Cge ka pa pagda0t sa gbyerno murag ka korek! Undangi na inyong pagdpig sa komunista! (Go slow, you are still young. You keep on criticizing the government as if you are always right. Stop siding with the communists!)”

It was followed by another message that said, “undangi na iny0ng kabuang, oi! basin di namo maabtan 2018 klaro kaayo m0 kumunesta!”(Hey, stop with your craziness. You might not live long enough to see 2018 [as] it is clear you are a communist!)

In the last message, the sender threatened Cortes by saying, “[I]sang bala para nimu! meri xmas!” (One bullet for you. Merry Christmas!).

The group added Cortez has been reporting and commenting about human rights violations, continuing harassments on Lumad communities, and the one-year extension of martial law in Mindanao.

The New People’s Army (NPA) and Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) have been designated as a terrorist organization after Duterte issued Proclamation No. 374 on December 5.

The incident had already been reported to the Regional Anti Cybercrime Division Office 11 here.

In a Facebook post on Monday, photographer Lito Sy defended the presidential granddaughter by saying he did not charge P250,000 for the pre-debut shoot and maintained he offered his services for free because Isabelle’s mother is a close friend since the 1990s.

“Nakakaawa naman ang dalaga sa mga paninirang di totoo. Ang bait and very down to earth ang dalaga. (I feel sorry for the lady for receiving criticisms that are not true. She is so nice and very down to earth),” he said.

“I felt sorry sa mga taong sumusulat ng di nila alam ang real story kundi hakahaka lang lahat masira lang reputation ng mga Dutertes (I felt sory for those writing without knowing the real story but basing only on rumors just to destroy the reputation of the Dutertes),” he said.

Sy added the gowns of the presidential granddaughter were sponsored by designers while some of the branded shoes were only borrowed.

Sy said Isabelle’s mother paid for the stylist, Jeff Galang, and make-up artist, Winn Ramos.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday said the photo shoot in Malacanang was a “small matter.”

“Small matter, gamitin lang ‘yung Malacañan. Wala naman ako doon. But even if I was there, itong granddaughter ko magpa-picture, lahat nga ng mga bisita pumupunta diyan, nagpapa-picture eh” (Small matter, the use of Malacanang. I was not there. But even if I were there, my granddaughter had a photo shoot, all the visitors who go there, they have their photos taken),” Duterte said in his speech at the birthday celebration of Senator Emmanuel Pacquiao in General Santos City.

“You know, that girl, she’s going to be 18 years old. Ang nanay niyan, Maranao, ang tatay niyan, Tausug,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)