August 4, 2019
A former station manager of a radio station that focused on reporting Indigenous People’s (IP) issues was reportedly harassed by soldiers belonging to the 1st Special Forces Battalion based in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon.
Kristin Lim said a group of Special Forces soldiers went to her house at about 8:30 pm of Saturday, August 3, 2019 to “invite” her to go with them for questioning but she refused as the soldiers did not present a clear and valid reason for her to do so.
Lim said the soldiers left but came back at about 8am of Sunday, August 4. She said the soldiers only left past noon after barangay officials intervened and proposed the holding of a dialogue between Lim and the soldiers at the village hall.
Lim used to be the station manager of Radyo Lumad, a project ran by the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines-Northern Mindanao Region (RMP-NMR). The radio station was under the Healing the Hurt Project co-funded by the European Union and the World Association for Christian Communication mainly to communicate IP rights and issues.
The project ended March this year but Lim said the radio station’s staff had been regularly subjected to threats and harassment. Lim was also the subject of a red-tagging incident in which a list of activists, lawyers, Church people, and a journalist and his family were accused of supporting the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army.
Lim said the persistent security threat to the staff was also a reason why the station temporarily shut down.
JB R. DEVEZA
NUJP Western Mindanao Safety Office