MANILA, Philippines – A Filipina reporter quit the Phnom Penh-based Khmer Times after allegedly being sexually harassed by the newspaper’s publisher.
According to Phnom Penh-based VOD News, April Reposar, 26, wrote an open letter to the Philippine embassy and detailed the incident involving the Malaysian publisher, Mohan Tirvgmanasam Banddam or T. Mohan.
Reposar said the events were “embarrassing and disturbing” and “made [her] question [her] worth and [her] purpose.”
In her letter, Reposar said she started working in the paper in April. The following month, the publisher allegedly told her that she would be placed in a nice apartment, in exchange for a “friends with benefits” setup.
Reposar also provided screenshots of WhatsApp messages between her and Mohan.
Mohan denied all the accusations, saying the screenshots were “heavily redacted and distorted.”
Mohan alleged that it was Reposar who suggested becoming his partner. He, however, said he deleted the messages that would prove this out of “shame.”
“The [Khmer Times] Admin Manager was informed of the indecent proposal from her, the proposal was not from me but from her…. There were text messages on this and some of [sic] from her was explicit and I deleted all of it as it was shameful,” Mohan said, as quoted by VOD.
Reposar has left Cambodia and returned to the Philippines.
Khmer Times chief operating officer Kay Kimsong dismissed the allegations in a message to VOD.
He told VOD that Reposar had only been at the newspaper for a “very short time” and that he "almost forgot about her.”
Rappler reached out to Reposar for comment, but she has yet to respond.
But in her Facebook page, she belied Mohan’s statements and claimed that many Filipinos also resigned from the paper due to sexual harassment. – Rappler.com
Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email email@example.com