A self-proclaimed lawyer who had previously filed libel charges against Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and newspaper publisher and editor Roger Balanza has stirred another ruckus this time threatening to kill by firing squad Davao City 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 Ely Pamatong in his threat sent out by text message to several members of the media.
Pamatong, who introduced himself in the past as a licensed member of the American Bar Association, earlier had sent invitations to journalists to the press conference by the USA Freedom Fighters of the East (USAFFE).
USAFFE, a dubious group headed by Pamatong, in the past figured in such issues as the demand to make the Philippines a state of the United States of America and the creation of Mindanesia Republic in Mindanao.
Last week, Pamatong sent out the invitation to the press conference that would have tackled China’s intrusion into the West Philippines Sea.
The threat to kill, which came after no journalist turned out for the event set to be held in a local hotel, was contained in an “advisory” sent out by Pamatong that read:
“USAFFE Media Advisory: I hope you will be decent and professional enough to come to the USAFFE GHQ today and explain why you intentionally failed to cover the March to Recover all Lost Philippine Territories and our Motherland itself from foreign Occupation and Invasion. So far, we have lost Sabah, Itu Aba, and 8OO ISLANDS, SHOALS, AND ISLETS. With, the BBL, MINSUPALA WILL GO TO MALAYSIA. 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. I know that because of the kind arrogance characteristic and common among media royalties, u will just shrug off your shoulders and smirk or laugh in contempt. Enjoy ur power, while its there. Gud luck. I only wish that, at the very least, u displayed the loyalty of dogs. Now I am not surprise bakit pinatay ang taga media.”
Journalists who received the text message reported the threat to police.
Pamatong surfaced in Davao City in the mid-80s, as Davao City was under grip of communist rebel occupancy, as a “legal consultant” to anti-communist radio commentator Kumander Lahi, who headed the ADAMIC, a pro-American anti-communist cult that lured thousands of members mostly lumads from hinterland districts in Davao City and many parts of Mindanao which were under threat from New People’s Army (NPA) rebels. Pamatong is said to have amassed a fortune selling to thousands of íts members amulets said to make them invulnerable to bullets and bladed weapons.
After Kumander Lahi mysteriously died, Pamatong would take over leadership of ADAMIC, and the various anti-communist cults under its umbrella like the Ituman and Putian, and the amulet business. For a while he was out of the limelight.
He would resurface in Manila as a presidential candidate in 2004 and in the prelude to the election, he earned the moniker “Spikey Ely” for spiking Manila roads with spikes after he was declared a nuisance presidential candidate by the Commission on Election.
` In the 2007 election, he returned to Davao and took a failed crack at the First District congressional seat.
In 2010, Pamatong announced he had submitted a proposal to Congress to establish the Christian-state Mindanesia Republic that among others would banish all Moros in Mindanao.
He announced his proposal to create Mindanesia Republic, of which he would be the prime minister, in a widely-attended press conference inDavao City.
He filed libel charges against Mayor Duterte who called the idea crazy and Balanza, who wrote a story on Duterte’s remarks in his paper, The Durian Post.
Pamatong would later withdraw the charges saying that the case would steal time from his campaign to establish Mindanesia Republic.