Administrators of the Facebook group Defend UPLB (UPLB stands for University of the Philippines Los Banos campus) are under fire for seemingly sending a threatening message to one of its own members. A digital flier used by the group in its campaign against the proposed Anti-Terrorism Bill (Senate Bill 1083, “An Act to Prevent, Prohibit and Penalize Terrorism”) included the telephone number “09351220364” or, complete with country code +639351220364.
A screenshot posted by the group admins on a comment thread seemingly showed a death threat that appeared to be sent from the same telephone number. The group admin user who posted the screenshot captioned it “Death Threat below:”
(Credit to Twitter user @Doctor_EVL for sharing these screenshots)
It would appear that the Defend UPLB group administrators are sending death threats to people or may be part of a large scale orchestrated operation of the sort to create widespread belief that “activists” are being threatened by elements associated with the government of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. The posts associated to the above screenshots had been “taken down” according to the group administrators.
Screenshots of responses to queries on the incident show the administrators claiming that the phone was “thrown away and got transferred in a junk shop”.
A statement later posted on Facebook by Defend UPLB pled categorical denial of any intent to manufacture death threats.
Netizens have also noted the substandard grammar used by the administrators of Defend UPLB, further fuelling speculation as to whether the people behind this group are actual UP students.