On April 8, 2008 at around 11 a.m., I received a textmessage from an international cellular phone number. I was dumbfounded by howangry the sender was.
It reads (published as is): "Dear Nelson i amrecived from my pr. For What dowraithed about me, Dear nelson if looking for trouble go sleep on the rail waybcz. Of the better than you being on my way. Untill today i am not didanythings to anyone bcz. Of the my kids leave over there i dont want make adirty there. But now i change my mind please kindly be respect each other. Ican undarstand u. U friend of ruffa and anabell but please kindly stop. I havea enogh targets over there remove on my way. Lets be respect each other ! I amnot asking any favor with u. Do favor your self and be respect it is lastwarning! For you. You will see soon who ever not respect to me what will gonnahapened them tnx."
(DearNelson, I have received from my PR what you wrote about me. Dear Nelson, ifyou're looking for trouble go sleep on a railway because it's better than beingon my way. Until today, I have not done anything to anyone because my kids livethere 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 afriend of Ruffa (Gutierrez) and Annabelle (Rama ), but please kindly stop. Ihave enough targets over there and I will remove them from my way. Let'srespect each other! I am not asking you a favor. Do yourself a favor and berespectful. It is my last warning for you. You will see soon what will happento those who do not respect me. Thanks.)
Reading from the text message, I suspected thatit came from Ruffa's estranged husband, Yilmaz Bektas. Confused, I replied,also by text messaging: "Sir, I have stopped doing stories about you and yourfamily for a long time now. "
I forwarded this message to my bosses at GMANews. I believe that matters like these should be resolved as a team. I alsoinformed the key people at PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal).
After that, I did not receive any text messagefrom Mr. Bektas.
However, on the early morning of the followingday, April 9, at around 8:05 a.m., I received another text message from thesame phone number.
It read (published as is): "If you not friend ofAnnabelle or Ruffa are you fan Of those people? She lia to me? Or you lia tome? Lisent to me i am gonna mail to you post card and book about my family. Youwill gonna recive your credit card billing adress. do u think i dont have a anyidea for what s going on? Not just in pep. Your other silly web sites too. Longtime we are watching you all the ip numbers adress names. Nelson i can not saydont do for me good or bad this your business i fully respect .bcz of the thisway you living Do your business but dont go to far. With notery and lawyer wesend to pep good this about me , and also bad thinks with 8 difrent ip all goodthings about me eresed after few hours but good thing about me stay there. Likethis small tricks can give to you big proplem."
(If you'renot a friend of Annabelle or Ruffa, are you their fan? Is she lying to me? Orare you lying to me? Listen to me, I am going to mail you a postcard and a bookabout 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 yourother silly websites, too. We have been watching (monitoring) all your IP andaddresses for a long time now. Nelson, I cannot say that you do good or bad forme, this is your business, and I fully respect it because this is the way youlive. Do your business but don't go too far. To my notary and lawyer, I sendmaterial 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 wereerased. Small tricks like these cangive you a big problem.)
I did not reply to this message because I didn'tfeel that I had to, but again I forwarded the message to my bosses.
Then after several hours, at 2:11 p.m., of thesame day, I received a message from the same phone number. This time, the text message was more direct and accused me ofcertain things.
It read: "Dontf**k with me one more time! I cannot say dont writing about me just kindly askme it is truth? Or not! I dont know what s your problem with me. From now onanything 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 knowyour ruffa and firend of anabel receiving the money and gift we can stilsurvive our friend ship im not perfect but i know i am good friend nelson thosepeople try to make all media againts to me only just this way can high dirtypart of the this story."
(Don'tf**k with me one more time! I cannot say don't write about me, but kindly askme 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, itwill be your end! I respect your business. Respect my family. I know you're afriend 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 goodfriend, Nelson. Those people who are trying to turn media against me are takingpart in creating dirty stories about me.)
At this point, I decided to consult the matterwith the GMA Network Legal Department.
We agreed that we needed to first verify if itwas Mr. Yilmaz Bektas who was sending the text messages.
I attempted, via text, to verify who the ownerof the cellphone number was. I sent text messages to the number several timesasking who the owner of the number was. I received no replies to my messages.
Later that day, at around 8 p.m., I called thenumber, using my cellular phone. Aman picked up. He introduced himself as Mr. Bektas. I introduced myself. I toldhim that I did not intend to speak with him, only to verify who owned thenumber. I hung up.
After that, I immediately informed my superiorsand 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., Igot a text message, this time from a different number. The tone of the text was remarkably different, but nonethelesssarcastic and intimidating. The text message said that whoever was besmirchinghis family name "will be very sorry."
The rest of the message read: "My friend Nelsoni would like to say thank you. For removing not truth news. Nelson for ruffataking more projects and for creating new clean and innocent image, i dont liketo 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 2500years for keeping our family name strong respectfull We lived, dead we killed for this reason. If just me i dont carebut belive me efecting so many peoples more than your imagen. Thase why i amgonna stop it this story and who ever involve, and part of this storypunishment will be hardly. I am not the laughingstock of anyone. For try to fake creating image gonna cost herand who ever invovle. For this. Will be wery sorry. Thank you for yourundarstanding again . Thanx.
(My friend, Nelson, I would like to say thankyou for removing news that were not true. Ruffa was able to get more projectsand was able to create a new, clean, and innocent image. I don't like to bepart of this, and I don't want to see anybody being part of this either,because I am far from my kids, and itwill destroy my family's name. We kept our family's name respected for the last2,500 years. We have lived and killed for this reason. If it were just me, Iwouldn'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. Forcreating a fake image for herself, this is going to cost Ruffa, and whoever isinvolved in creating this fake image will be very sorry. Thank you forunderstanding again. Thanks.)
I did not reply anymore. But I guess it was safeto assume that, although he was using a different number, Mr. Bektas was theperson who sent the text message.
After a few days, my colleague at GMA News wasable to reach Mr. Bektas. My colleague asked about the text message. But bythen, Mr. Bektas had refused to comment on the matter.
I have since expressed my intentions to mysuperiors (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 preventany more threats to my life. My superiors consented.
Receiving these text messages from out of theblue, I admit, has made me feel vulnerable. In the past—prior to thesethreatening messages—Mr. Bektas would send text messages that were sometimescordial but were sometimes also angry or "intimidating." Then, as now, I couldthink 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 exclusiveinterview with him at the EDSA Shangri-La Plaza Hotel. We were civil andprofessional. After that meeting, I maintained a professional reporter-sourcerelationship with Mr. Bektas.
I do not understand where Mr. Bektas is comingfrom considering that we are not friends. Idid 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 acontributor to PEP, my online stories are subject to the same editorial andbias-checking mechanisms that apply to my TV reports. I only report. I do notinclude my opinions in my reports.
The accusation that I wrote negative articlesabout him and his family in PEP is a completeand utter lie.
I did roughly three to four stories for PEP.These were about the separation of Yilmaz Bektas and Ruffa Gutierrez-Bektas andMr. Bektas's intentions to reconcile with his wife. The last time I did a storyon 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 inany way detrimental to or negative about Mr. Bektas.
This story can be accessed in the www.pep.ph archive under the heading: "YilmazBektas: ‘I want my family back.'"
There is also no truth to the allegation that Imaintain other online websites with various Internet protocol addresses or IPaddresses. According to him, he discovered the existence of the allegedwebsites which were maligning his and his family's name. Though I have apersonal website, it does not contain any articles on Mr. Bektas nor any othershowbiz stories that I have worked on. I do not maintain any other website.
In the course of doing my job, I try to maintaina 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 arereal or are simply meant to bully, no one deserves them. In my work, I havealways maintained a high sense of professionalism. I owe that to the highlyrespected television network I work for. I know that any action I take reflectson my company. In the same token, any personal attack on my being is an attackon my company.
To the best of my knowledge, this is the firsttime Mr. Bektas has threatened a media person, and I certainly do not want mycolleagues in the industry to experience the same thing.
Mr. Bektas has stopped texting since, but Istill hope our professional relationship would not end here. As it is for anyreporter, I cannot be stopped by any form of intimidation from following thetrail to a good story.