MANILA, Philippines — One threatened that he would have him gulp shabu with gin, the other told him a bullet would be put in his head.
Thus, Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Antonio Montalvan II is seeking assistance to find out who are the persons who want to harm or kill him because they despise his two recent opinion pieces on issues hounding President Rodrigo Duterte and his son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo “Pulong” Duterte.
Both threats were posted in the comments section of Montalvan’s Kris-Crossing Mindanao column — the first threat was posted by “Manny Villa” below his August 21 opinion article titled, The contradiction between Kian and Polong.
The second, posted by “xv” below Montalvan’s Oct. 16 article titled, Why Duterte’s bubble will burst, told the columnist that, “Like Antonio the writer and Antonio the mutineer,” apparently referring to Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, “both are invincible until a bullet is placed on your heads.”
The posts didn’t have photos of the social media account owners and were apparently “one-off, fake accounts,” the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) noted.
NUJP said it had been informed that authorities were “alerted to the threats and are working to trace the person or persons behind” the threats against Montalvan, a Mindanao-based anthropologist and ethno-historian, who has a doctorate degree in anthropology and teaches at the History Department of Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan.
“For our part, (we) will inform Undersecretary Joel Egco of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security of these threats and ask that this matter be acted on with urgency,” the union said.
“While journalism and the media as a whole should always be open to criticism and engagement by our audiences, we draw the line when it comes to threats and consider each, no matter how seemingly trivial, very seriously,” it added.