PTFoMS to ask Facebook to take down page over journo harassment

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DAVAO CITY–The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) said it will ask Facebook to take down Phil Leaks, a page account that has been posting threats against a Mindanao-based journalist.

“We will red flag the account and ask FB to take it down,” PTFoMS Executive Director and Undersecretary Joel Egco said in text message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA), when asked on the agency’s action on the online harassment against journalist Julie Alipala.

Alipala, a veteran correspondent of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, was accused as a “terrorist supporter” and a “paid propagandist” of the bandit group Abu Sayyaf.

“We got in touch with Julie already as soon as the issue against her cropped up. Our investigators already talked to her to submit an incident report so we can officially act,” Egco told PNA on Wednesday.

Alipala has been the subject of attack by Phil Leaks following the publication of her story on the alleged massacre of seven peasants by the military on September 13.

The attacks on Alipala drew strong reactions and condemnation from journalist groups.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) vehemently condemned Phil Leaks, describing the Facebook page as “dubious group.”

NUJP said Alipala merely reported on claims made by the victims’ families that they were civilians simply out to harvest fruit crops when arrested, and later allegedly killed by the military. The same story has been reported by many other media outfits throughout the country.

The Mindanao Independent Press Council (MIPC) also voiced concerns on the threat against Alipala, calling on authorities to investigate and prosecute the personalities behind the Facebook account.

“We would like to call on those people behind the dubious Facebook account Phil Leaks to spare Julie Alipala from their tirades and respect the work of the journalist,” MIPC said in a statement released Tuesday evening.

ALSO READ: /spare-julie-alipala-respect-journalists/

MIPC noted that journalists based in Mindanao already work in a hostile environment, adding that: “No amount of money can compensate (for) the life of a journalist and we know what is at stake in every story that we offer (to) our readers/viewers.” –Lilian C. Mellejor/PNA

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