Journalist reports surveillance weeks after Tausug massacre story

A journalist who reported on the massacre of seven Tausug evacuees in Patikul, Sulu last September 14 complained of being tailed by an unidentified man.

Julie Alipala of the Philippine Daily Inquirer posted on her Facebook wall she was tailed by a “suspicious looking man” for five hours after she left an anti-cybercrime office Wednesday.

“Alipala, who was able to observe the man closely, described him as in his middle 30’s, around five feet and four inches in height, with fair complexion and wearing military type green t-shirt and black six pocket pants,” the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said in its alert issued Thursday morning.

Screenshot of Alipala’s FB post.

“She said the man was carrying a black sling bag and wearing oversized sunglasses that hid his eyes,” the alert added.

The NUJP said the man ran away when Alipala tried taking his photograph.

The Mindanao-based Alipala was recently tagged a ‘terrorist’ by a Facebook group after reporting that the massacre victims were Tausug civilians and not Abu Sayyaf bandits as the military claimed.

“The malicious post was widely commented on by netizens, some of which wished physical harm on Alipala,” the NUJP alert said.

The NUJP condemned the threats against Alipala while the Presidential Task Force on Media Security sent personnel to Mindanao to investigate. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)