MARKED FOR DEATH

MANILA, OCTOBER 11, 2003 (STAR) By Sandy Araneta  - Bureau of Customs-Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) District Collector Celso Templo revealed yesterday he has been receiving death threats since Monday.

In an interview at the NAIA Customs House at the airport complex, Templo said he would be asking the help of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

Templo said a male suspect initially had called him and has been sending him text messages since Monday afternoon.

"Pare. Pareho lang tau tulisan. Naging polis ka rin. Hindi kami nakikialam sa teretoryo mo at sana wag ka rin makialam sa amin. May backup ka nga security na 3 at advance pa. Isang M203 ka lang sa 100 metro. Kanya kanya kita lang at masaya tau lahat. Ayaw mo naman maging isang Lilia," the text message read, referring to Lilia Diaz, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) assistant general manager for finance and administration, who was assassinated last month.

The text message, written in capital letters, came from a pre-paid cellular phone (09109961835). The first message was sent at 2:38 p.m., Oct. 6, 2003.

"Hindo mo naman masecure ang matapang mong asawa at ang mga anak. Ang masakit yun mamatayan ng anak. Pare. Easy ka lang sa mga decision mo. May honor among thieves ika nga," read the second message sent at 5:27 p.m., the same day.

Templo said he tried to answer the text messages, but the suspect just kept sending more.

"Bakit takot ka sumagot. Akala naming palaban ka. Maski mauna bumaba ang sec mo na may M16. Tutumba kau lahat dahil malayo kami. Pareho tau halang ang bituka, pare," the third message, sent a few minutes later, read.

"Takot ka talaga. Puwede hindi kami titira sau o sa pamilya. Mga asset lang naming NPA o Muslim na RPG ang pagsabog ng kotse o buong bahay mo," read the last message sent at 5:32 p.m. the same day.

Templo said that he had asked for additional security.

The BOC detailed five fully-armed close-in security men for Templo 24 hours a day. The men are from the Customs Police and Customs Guards.

The BOC also assigned two vehicles for Templo with five security men.

The other day, Templo received a phone call from the suspect: "Ano bang gusto mong kabaong, Palochina o Narra."

Last Wednesday a text message was sent: "Tatlong kandila na ang naka reserba sa iyo."

Templo said Port of Manila District Collector Boy Morales has also received death threats.

Templo, a licensed firearm holder, has been bringing to his office three handguns two caliber .45 automatic pistols, and one caliber .40 automatic pistol.

"These threats will not deter me from pursuing my campaign against drugs, piracy and other illegal activities," Templo said.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2003  by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE