Ely Pamatong had threatened to kill by firing squad the journalists who did not respond to his invitation to a press conference.
“Your noncooperation is Treason and Betrayal of the highest, the Meanest ORDER, unparaleled in the anals of treachery, the very least punishment of which is death by FIRING SQUAD, NO LESS,” said Pamatong in his threat sent out by text message to the journalists from the print and broadcast media.
The threat scared off the press people more than 100 of whom reportedly received the death threat.
But they are not stopping at reporting the incident to police and are filing charges against Pamatong.
More than 100 journalists are said to have received the threats in their cell phones, which will be used as evidence against Pamatong.
Some people may call Pamatong crazy but history will tell that crazy people are behind the most grievous crimes against media, said Roger Balanza, who in the past had been sued for libel by Pamatong.
This threat should not be taken for granted, said Balanza, publisher and editor of the weekly paper, The Durian Post and the online news site durianburgdavao.
Who knows? Pamatong may have the devilish plan to beat the Ampatuan Massacre by killing as many journalists, said Balanza. In 2009, 32 journalists were among 58 people who perished in mass murder in the infamous massacre allegedly carried out by members of the politically-powerful Ampatuan clan of Maguindanao province in central Mindanao. The massacre stands out on record as the incident of violence against media with the most number of members of the press killed.
Pamatong has done many crazy things, is hungry for publicity and he could get world-wide fame by terminating by firing squad more than a hundred Davao City journalists, said Balanza.
Reports have it that a top-notch lawyer is pro-bono helping the journalists in filing the case which could land inland in the Guinness Book of World Records as the case with the most number of journalist-complainants. The cases would also give Pamatong another feather in his cap in his search for fame: he could also be listed by Guinness as having been slapped with the most number of charges as the journalists would be filing individual raps. But if found guilty, Pamatong would also have the enviable record of getting the longest sentence in the history of the judiciary.
The lawyer who begged anonymity said however that he is trying to convince the journalists who have started signing their individual complaints not to pursue the charges on fear the cases could be dismissed if Pamatong pleads insanity before the court.