On April 8, 2008 at around 11 a.m., I received a text message from an international cellular phone number. I was dumbfounded by how angry the sender was.
It reads (published as is): "Dear Nelson i am recived from my pr. For What do wraithed about me, Dear nelson if looking for trouble go sleep on the rail way bcz. Of the better than you being on my way. Untill today i am not did anythings to anyone bcz. Of the my kids leave over there i dont want make a dirty there. But now i change my mind please kindly be respect each other. I can undarstand u. U friend of ruffa and anabell but please kindly stop. I have a enogh targets over there remove on my way. Lets be respect each other ! I am not asking any favor with u. Do favor your self and be respect it is last warning! For you. You will see soon who ever not respect to me what will gonna hapened them tnx."
(Dear Nelson, I have received from my PR what you wrote about me. Dear Nelson, if you're looking for trouble go sleep on a railway because it's better than being on my way. Until today, I have not done anything to anyone because my kids live there and I don't want to do dirt over there. But now I have changed my mind. Please, we must kindly respect each other. I can understand you. You are a friend of Ruffa (Gutierrez) and Annabelle (Rama ), but please kindly stop. I have enough targets over there and I will remove them from my way. Let's respect each other! I am not asking you a favor. Do yourself a favor and be respectful. It is my last warning for you. You will see soon what will happen to those who do not respect me. Thanks.)
Reading from the text message, I suspected that it came from Ruffa's estranged husband, Yilmaz Bektas. Confused, I replied, also by text messaging: "Sir, I have stopped doing stories about you and your family for a long time now. "
I forwarded this message to my bosses at GMA News. I believe that matters like these should be resolved as a team. I also informed the key people at PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal).
After that, I did not receive any text message from Mr. Bektas.
However, on the early morning of the following day, April 9, at around 8:05 a.m., I received another text message from the same phone number.
It read (published as is): "If you not friend of Annabelle or Ruffa are you fan Of those people? She lia to me? Or you lia to me? Lisent to me i am gonna mail to you post card and book about my family. You will gonna recive your credit card billing adress. do u think i dont have a any idea for what s going on? Not just in pep. Your other silly web sites too. Long time we are watching you all the ip numbers adress names. Nelson i can not say dont do for me good or bad this your business i fully respect .bcz of the this way you living Do your business but dont go to far. With notery and lawyer we send to pep good this about me , and also bad thinks with 8 difrent ip all good things about me eresed after few hours but good thing about me stay there. Like this small tricks can give to you big proplem."
(If you're not a friend of Annabelle or Ruffa, are you their fan? Is she lying to me? Or are you lying to me? Listen to me, I am going to mail you a postcard and a book about my family. You will receive it through your credit-card billing address. Do you think I don't have any idea of what's going on? Not just in PEP but your other silly websites, too. We have been watching (monitoring) all your IP and addresses for a long time now. Nelson, I cannot say that you do good or bad for me, this is your business, and I fully respect it because this is the way you live. Do your business but don't go too far. To my notary and lawyer, I send material of PEP, with 8 different IP addresses of good and bad things about me. After a few hours, only the good ones remained, and all bad things were erased. Small tricks like these can give you a big problem.)
I did not reply to this message because I didn't feel that I had to, but again I forwarded the message to my bosses.
Then after several hours, at 2:11 p.m., of the same day, I received a message from the same phone number. This time, the text message was more direct and accused me of certain things.
It read: "Dont f**k with me one more time! I cannot say dont writing about me just kindly ask me it is truth? Or not! I dont know what s your problem with me. From now on anything bad about me against to me or my family undar pep or difrent name. Nelson will be your end! I am respect your bussines be respect my family and i know your ruffa and firend of anabel receiving the money and gift we can stil survive our friend ship im not perfect but i know i am good friend nelson those people try to make all media againts to me only just this way can high dirty part of the this story."
(Don't f**k with me one more time! I cannot say don't write about me, but kindly ask me if it is true or not! I don't know what's your problem with me. From now on, anything bad against me or my family, under PEP or a different name, Nelson, it will be your end! I respect your business. Respect my family. I know you're a friend of Ruffa and Annabelle and you're receiving money and gifts from them. Our friendship can still survive. I'm not perfect, but I know I am a good friend, Nelson. Those people who are trying to turn media against me are taking part in creating dirty stories about me.)
At this point, I decided to consult the matter with the GMA Network Legal Department.
We agreed that we needed to first verify if it was Mr. Yilmaz Bektas who was sending the text messages.
I attempted, via text, to verify who the owner of the cellphone number was. I sent text messages to the number several times asking who the owner of the number was. I received no replies to my messages.
Later that day, at around 8 p.m., I called the number, using my cellular phone. A man picked up. He introduced himself as Mr. Bektas. I introduced myself. I told him that I did not intend to speak with him, only to verify who owned the number. I hung up.
After that, I immediately informed my superiors and the GMA Network Legal Department that it was, indeed, Mr. Bektas's number.
I did not text him anymore.
The next day, April 10, at around 5:40 p.m., I got a text message, this time from a different number. The tone of the text was remarkably different, but nonetheless sarcastic and intimidating. The text message said that whoever was besmirching his family name "will be very sorry."
The rest of the message read: "My friend Nelson i would like to say thank you. For removing not truth news. Nelson for ruffa taking more projects and for creating new clean and innocent image, i dont like to be part of this also i dont like to see anybody being part of this either. Bcz of this reason i am far from my kids and destroy my family name. Last 2500 years for keeping our family name strong respectfull We lived, dead we killed for this reason. If just me i dont care but belive me efecting so many peoples more than your imagen. Thase why i am gonna stop it this story and who ever involve, and part of this story punishment will be hardly. I am not the laughingstock of anyone. For try to fake creating image gonna cost her and who ever invovle. For this. Will be wery sorry. Thank you for your undarstanding again . Thanx.
(My friend, Nelson, I would like to say thank you for removing news that were not true. Ruffa was able to get more projects and was able to create a new, clean, and innocent image. I don't like to be part of this, and I don't want to see anybody being part of this either, because I am far from my kids, and it will destroy my family's name. We kept our family's name respected for the last 2,500 years. We have lived and killed for this reason. If it were just me, I wouldn't care, but believe me, it's affecting more people than you can imagine. This is why I am going to stop this story, and for whoever is involved, punishment will be severe. I will not be the laughingstock of anyone. For creating a fake image for herself, this is going to cost Ruffa, and whoever is involved in creating this fake image will be very sorry. Thank you for understanding again. Thanks.)
I did not reply anymore. But I guess it was safe to assume that, although he was using a different number, Mr. Bektas was the person who sent the text message.
After a few days, my colleague at GMA News was able to reach Mr. Bektas. My colleague asked about the text message. But by then, Mr. Bektas had refused to comment on the matter.
I have since expressed my intentions to my superiors (GMA News and PEP) that I would like to write a story about this. This, I believe, would be for my protection—revealing this may actually prevent any more threats to my life. My superiors consented.
Receiving these text messages from out of the blue, I admit, has made me feel vulnerable. In the past—prior to these threatening messages—Mr. Bektas would send text messages that were sometimes cordial but were sometimes also angry or "intimidating." Then, as now, I could think of no reason for the threatening text messages.
I certainly did not expect any of this from Mr. Bektas. I met him only once, on August 14, 2007, when I had an exclusive interview with him at the EDSA Shangri-La Plaza Hotel. We were civil and professional. After that meeting, I maintained a professional reporter-source relationship with Mr. Bektas.
I do not understand where Mr. Bektas is coming from considering that we are not friends. I did not do him any harm, much less besmirch his or his family's reputation. I am part of a large television network and, although I am not a staffer but a contributor to PEP, my online stories are subject to the same editorial and bias-checking mechanisms that apply to my TV reports. I only report. I do not include my opinions in my reports.
The accusation that I wrote negative articles about him and his family in PEP is a complete and utter lie.
I did roughly three to four stories for PEP. These were about the separation of Yilmaz Bektas and Ruffa Gutierrez-Bektas and Mr. Bektas's intentions to reconcile with his wife. The last time I did a story on Mr. Bektas, both online and broadcast (TV), was last year, on August 14, 2007. The story was about how he wanted his family back. It was surely not in any way detrimental to or negative about Mr. Bektas.
This story can be accessed in the www.pep.ph archive under the heading: "Yilmaz Bektas: ‘I want my family back.'"
There is also no truth to the allegation that I maintain other online websites with various Internet protocol addresses or IP addresses. According to him, he discovered the existence of the alleged websites which were maligning his and his family's name. Though I have a personal website, it does not contain any articles on Mr. Bektas nor any other showbiz stories that I have worked on. I do not maintain any other website.
In the course of doing my job, I try to maintain a professional relationship with my sources, and my relationship with Mr. Bektas, Ms. Rama and the Gutierrezes is no exception.
Regardless of whether Mr. Bektas's threats are real or are simply meant to bully, no one deserves them. In my work, I have always maintained a high sense of professionalism. I owe that to the highly respected television network I work for. I know that any action I take reflects on my company. In the same token, any personal attack on my being is an attack on my company.
To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time Mr. Bektas has threatened a media person, and I certainly do not want my colleagues in the industry to experience the same thing.
Mr. Bektas has stopped texting since, but I still hope our professional relationship would not end here. As it is for any reporter, I cannot be stopped by any form of intimidation from following the trail to a good story.