Stories posted 2009

PCIJ wins AFP’s Kate Webb Award for exemplary journalism

The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) has been awarded the Agence France-Presse’s Kate Webb Award for exceptional journalism work in difficult or dangerous circumstances.

This is the second institutional award the PCIJ received in just two weeks. Just last December 2, the Asia Journalist Association (AJA), an organization of journalists from over 20 countries throughout Asia, presented the AJA award for Press Freedom to the PCIJ during its 5th General Assembly in Seoul, South Korea.


Journalists cry out for justice

Journalists, media workers, and activists march to Mendiola to demand justice for colleagues slain in the Maguindanao Massacre. Read the story.


Journalists turn rallyists for Maguindanao massacre victims

[autoviewer id=journalists-rally width=640 height=480]ON the eve of the observance of International Human Rights Day (December 10), journalists and media workers took to the streets in Mendiola, a stone’s throw from the seat of political power that is Malacanang Palace, in rage and grief. Their common call: Justice for the 57 victims of the November 23 […]


The Massacre in Ampatuan, Maguindanao

Please be warned of the graphic nature of these photographs. All photos were taken from the Commission on Human Rights.

The Maguindanao Massacre,
the Bangsamoro Problem
and the Peace Process

As a peace advocate who has considered Muslim Mindanao as my second region (after Bicol), I join so many others in their shock at and condemnation of what is now called the Maguindanao Massacre of 23 November 2009, likewise in expressing sympathies for the close relatives and friends of those who were killed, especially two fellow human rights lawyers, and calling for speedy justice and other necessary measures of redress and reform. There will never be enough words to describe this almost unbelievably depraved and inhuman incident.

FFFJ Mission

The 30 Media Martyrs
of Maguindanao

THERE WERE 30 and not just 27 reporters and media workers who were killed in a manner brutal beyond description in Maguindanao, last Monday November 23.

The 30 media workers comprise more than half of the 57 confirmed casualties of what is now known as the Maguindanao Massacre, according to a list compiled and verified by the Humanitarian and Fact-Finding Mission of the Freedom Fund for Filipino Journalists (FFFJ), a network of independent media organizations, including the PCIJ.

The Maguindanao Massacre

Why Andal Ampatuan Jr. Thought
He Could Get Away With It

THE BODY count of the Maguindanao Massacre has gone up each of the past five days. The count is now at 57, with authorities continuing to sift through the blood-soaked dirt just outside the town of Shariff Aguak. Thirty of the victims were journalists and at least twenty-two were women. The women were raped and their genitals shot at close range.

Expect the numbers to change in the coming days. What will likely not change is the identity of the accused mastermind of the killings: a smug, round-faced blip of a man named Andal Ampatuan Jr., a local mayor and the son of a powerful political patriarch who is allied with no less than the president of the Philippines.

Covering Maguindanao

Terror, fear hinder journalism

THERE was a time my colleagues at the PCIJ threatened to print shirts that said “I am not JJ” in front and “Neither is she my friend” at the back.

The (hopefully) feigned betrayal stemmed from the stories I was writing at the time about the Ampatuan clan, how its members wielded power, and the sorry state of public education in the province of Maguindanao.

Putting Maguindanao in context

It is the seat of Bangsamoro pride and the heartland of the Moro Sultanate. But as authorities slowly unearth the events that unfolded along a remote stretch of highway Monday morning, November 23, Maguindanao province now holds the distinction of having the worst single case of election violence in recent Philippine history.

As of Monday night, authorities have found at least 21 mutilated bodies in Masalay, Datu Abdullah Sangki town in Maguindanao. They are believed to belong to a group of 50 people, including 30 local journalists, that departed Buluan town earlier in the day to witness the filing of the certificate of candidacy of gubernatorial hopeful Ishmael Mangudadatu at the Comelec office in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao.

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