A manager and franchise owner of a radio station reported receiving a threatening message a month after a town mayor ordered his station closed.
Segundino Taladico, 53, manager and franchise owner of dySL Radyo Natin-Hinoba-an, received the threat through text messaging on Apr. 13, reported Julius Mariveles, former chair of NUJP Negros Occidental chapter and Interaksyon.com correspondent.
The message, sent through mobile number 0928 874 2534, wrote: “ Hoy, Dino! Gintigan-an kna hitman, ti halong ka guid olwis! 1,2 kalang tuwad ka na (Hey Dino! I got a hitman for you. Take care always! Bend over at the count of two!)”
A month ago, Hinoba-an town mayor Ma. Teresa Bilbao ordered the closure of the radio station, supposedly for failure to secure a business permit from 2010.
In a phone interview with the NUJP Media Safety Office, Taladico denied Bilbao’s claim, saying, “I complied with and submitted the needed [documents for the permit] to the municipal treasurer as early as January.”
But Taladico said, the mayor allegedly told the treasurer’s office to ignore the requirements he submitted.
Believing “the mayor failed to observe due process and violated freedom of the press”, Taladico said he pressed civil damages against Bilbao before the Br. 61 of the Kabangkalan City Regional Trial Court last Mar. 25. The court has yet to set a preliminary hearing.
Taladico told NUJP the move to padlock the station could be politically motivated. He said although the local government had a blocktime program aired over his station, it also had programs aired in timeslots bought by a political party carrying Bilbao’s rival.
He added this is not the first time he has received threats. In December last year, he received a text message that, according to him, went, “Marunong ka bang magdasal? Kasi isa o dalawang bala lang tutumba ka na (Do you know how to pray? In one or two shots, you’re dead).”