Special Reports

Special Reports

Plastic trash chokes Philippine seas

The Philippines generates an enormous amount of trash and is the third worst ocean plastic polluter in the world, according to a 2015...

‘Build, Build, Build’ hits chokepoint: Firms of Bong Go kin, contractors: Many JVs, delayed...

By Karol Ilagan and Malou Mangahas Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism Click to watch video  DAVAO CITY (PCIJ / 6 Sept) – For his home region and...

Did he help Dad, half-brod get deals? Unfair! Prove it, I will resign –...

By Karol Ilagan and Malou Mangahas Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism SIXTEEN TIMES across a two-hour interview he uttered the word "unfair." At one point, he said...

‘Build, Build, Build’ hits chokepoint: Davao Region most favored; others get cuts, token hike...

IT'S AS GOOD as it gets for Davao Region, home and bailiwick of President Rodrigo R. Duterte. And by the government's own data, it's as...

‘Build, Build, Build’ hits chokepoint: Top 10 contractors under DU30 run record of fraud,...

By Karol Ilagan and Malou Mangahas Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism THREE HAD been suspended or blacklisted, including one for submitting fake tax clearance certificates. One...

People, paper behind PCIJ’s report on Contractors: Candor from a few, thunderous silence from...

By the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism Editor's Note: PCIJ's multi-part report on civil works projects under the Duterte Administration is the composite work of...

Vetting contractors

by Karol Ilagan Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism THE GOVERNMENT awards a contractor-bidder a contract if its bid amount has been evaluated and found to be...

Endangered sea turtles thrive in Sarangani province

MAITUM, Sarangani (MindaNews/13 June) – Whenever the weather is fine here, the vast Celebes Sea usually offers a spectacular view of the sunset, a...

Project Bangon Marawi, Year 1: Firms of clans among winners of Marawi road,...

By Karol Ilagan and Malou Mangahas Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism CONTRACTORS tied to political clans have been awarded a combined total of P306 million in...

Project Bangon Marawi, Year 1: A majority of DU30 allies will pick Marawi’s Ground...

By Malou Mangahas and Karol Ilagan Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism A SMALL COMMITTEE of seven persons, including four political appointees and associates of President Rodrigo...

Project Bangon Marawi, Year 1: A patchwork of sketchy plans, loose rules, uncertain...

By Malou Mangahas and Karol Ilagan Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism With reporting by Carolyn O. Arguillas, MindaNews THE SIEGE of the Islamic City of Marawi marks...

3,937 candidates in May 2016 did not file poll expense reports; 40% from ARMM

PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte is already on his second year as the country’s chief executive, but the polls that clinched him that post continue...

Ain’t easy being an MILF fighter’s wife

KABACAN, North Cotabato – Tambay Sambutuan and Baiyan Basayan arrived in the village of Cuyapon in this municipality to seek temporary shelter from the...

Revisiting Old Wounds: There is Hope

KAUSWAGAN, Lanao del Norte (MindaNews) – Fifty-seven-year-old Elisa Recla lived all her life in Barangay Tacub in this town. But there was a day...

Bangsamoro, No; Good Governance, Yes

On the same day the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front signed the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), on 27 March 2014,...

Moro groups race with time, grope for ‘convergence’ on peace agenda

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/08 March) – The peace and development agenda of the Duterte administration aims for, among others, “meaningful implementation of the Framework Agreement...

Bakwits since 2000, 2003: “We will ask the President to help us return to...

BARANGAY LAYOG, Pagalungan, Maguindanao (MindaNews / 19 Feb) -- At the height of the wars between government forces and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front...

Thou shall not donate

By The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism BY ALL indications, the May 2016 elections are no different from previous polls in which those donating to...

Campaign finance in May 2016: Donors, Inc.: Only 830 Filipinos bankrolled poll bid of...

By The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism IN 2010, PCIJ reported that only 308 donors contributed in the presidential race that Benigno Aquino III won....

Campaign Finance Office in drift, headless:P334M from only 13 donors funded Duterte’s presidency

By Karol Ilagan and Malou Mangahas Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism THE IMAGE Rodrigo R. Duterte projected of his 2016 presidential campaign was that it...

Maternal concerns: A look into the urban complexities of pregnancy and healthcare for women

Pregnancy and all its implications can all together be difficult to bear by women who live in varying social and economic conditions. To some it's...

[SPECIAL REPORT] The women in the Bangsamoro peace process: history, herstory

KUALA LUMPUR (MindaNews/28 January)  —  When the history of the peace process between the Philippine government (GPH) and the Bangsamoro is written, the story...

Money politics and the May 2013 elections ‘High rollers’ rule Senate donors, give P795-M...

WHILE MOST of the tycoons who bankrolled candidates and political parties in the 2010 Presidential elections were curiously absent, the 2013 midterm elections still...

Money politics & the May 2013 elections: Poll laws in limbo: Firms can’t donate...

LAWYERS ARE taught early on to make the distinction between companies and their officers and shareholders. But Rona Ann Caritos, acting Executive Director of...

Money politics & the May 2013 elections: Top execs of barred firms funded...

First of Three Parts IN THEORY, elections are supposed to be the great leveler or equalizer of democracy. The vote of any ordinary man scraping...

SPECIAL REPORT: Moratorium on fish cage operations sought to save Lake Sebu from dying

LAKE SEBU, South Cotabato (MindaNews/10 March) --  A paradise lost. Seventy-five year old Sindoy Cuyan recalls how as a young T’boli girl, swimming in Lake...

SPECIAL REPORT: 306 fisherfolk still missing; A city in quiet grief

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/12 December) - Typhoon Pablo may have spared residents here from its wrath and fury when it swatted across large areas...
The Datal Biao Elementary School in Barangay Danlag in Tampakan, South Cotabato, the lone public school in the mines development site of Sagittarius Mines, Inc. MindaNews photo by Bong S. Sarmiento

The Tampakan Project: battle over Southeast Asia’s largest copper-gold deposit (2)

Last of two parts TAMPAKAN, South Cotabato (MindaNews/12 Nov) —Potentially the largest foreign direct investment in the Philippines, the $5.9 billion Tampakan mining project faces...
MINE SITE. Mt. Matutum, a dormant volcano and South Cotabato's landmark peak, beckons from the mines development site of Sagittarius Mines, Inc.. MindaNews photo by Bong Sarmiento

SPECIAL REPORT: The Tampakan project: battle over Southeast Asia’s largest copper-gold reserve (1)

1st of two parts TAMPAKAN, South Cotabato (MindaNews/11 Nov) -- How huge is the proposed open pit mine that will gouge out a mountain here...

WHERE HAVE ALL THE FORESTS GONE? (3): Illegal logging intensifies in Surigao Sur despite...

CARMEN, Surigao del Sur (MindaNews/19 September) – Fr. Raymond Ambray, spokesperson of Caraga Watch, an environment watchdog composed of various churches and sectoral groups, said they found an unlikely ally in the Surigao Development Corporation (Sudecor).

WHERE HAVE ALL THE FORESTS GONE? Illegal logging intensifies in Surigao Sur despite total...

CARMEN, Surigao del Sur (MindaNews/17 September) -- The Aquino administration’s total log ban is endangering, instead of protecting, the remaining forest cover in the six towns of Surigao del Sur, as illegal logging activities have intensified at such an alarming scale, a church-led group here said.

10 years of US military presence (2): Post-blast investigations and trainings on high-tech weapons

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/19 July) – It was not the first time American soldiers were seen taking part in actual security activities of the...

10 years of US military presence (2): A trail of abuses, a string of...

2nd of three parts GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/17 July) – A trail of abuses on the one hand, and on the other, a string of...

Coast Watch Stations a major feature in recently concluded CARAT 2012

MAASIM, Sarangani (MindaNews/16 July) -- From afar, the steel facility looks like a cellular phone tower but it is not. It is called the...

A DECADE OF US TROOPS IN MINDANAO: Revisiting the Visiting Forces Agreement

Among the first to file petitions before the Supreme Court questioning the constitutionality of the VFA were the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, the Philippine Constitution Association, and Senators Teofisto Guingona Jr., Raul Roco and Sergio Osmena III.

A DECADE OF US TROOPS IN MINDANAO: Revisiting the Visiting Forces Agreement (2)

2nd of three parts Singapore solution On 13 September 1991, the Philippine Senate, voting 12-11, rejected the renewal of the Military Bases Agreement. Nationalists called it a...
FIRED UP Militants burn a US flag in a rally in Zamboanga City on 20 April 2012 to symbolize their opposition to American military presence in the Philippines. Groups led by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan staged a caravan around Mindanao from April 16-20 that coincided with the opening of another round of war games in the country involving Philippine and US troops. Contributed photo by Aries Sandino M. Mordeno

A DECADE OF US TROOPS IN MINDANAO: Revisiting the Visiting Forces Agreement

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/23 April) – In October 2010, President Benigno S. Aquino III declared he would seek a review of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States, especially the provisions on the custody of US servicemen facing criminal charges. His statement came amid tensions with China over the disputed Spratly Islands, in the West Philippine Sea.

SALN: Great filers, big barriers

AMID the rampant misdeclaration or underdeclaration of their Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) by senior public officials lies a prettier, often overlooked, picture: the few good men and women in high and low positions who follow the law most diligently and truthfully.

SALN: Good law, bad results

WHATEVER THE outcome of the impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato C. Corona, a once-ignored piece of document seems to be getting the attention it deserves at last. The question, however, is whether or not the general public’s increased familiarity with the Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth or SALN would finally shame public servants into taking it seriously and accomplishing it beyond token compliance.

A House of secrets By Karol Ilagan

A House of secrets By Karol Ilagan Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism SINCE the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona began two months ago, members...

SIDEBAR: PCIJ’s Request Log

BELOW is an account of PCIJ’s recent correspondences with Office of the Secretary-General, Legal Affairs Department, and the Records Management Service of the House...

Domestic abuse fueled suspicions of foul play

Women’s rights and migrant advocates in South Korea say complaints of domestic abuse are not uncommon here, and the story of Cathy Deocades is no exception.
The village of Tapgok-ri in Gongju City where Cathy Deocades, of General Santos City, lived. She was found hanging from a wooden bar in an abandoned house not far from her home, in what the South Korean police determined was a suicide. Photo by Malte E. Kollenberg / VERA Files

An Asian tragedy called Cathy

GONGJU, South Korea – Two and a half hours south of Seoul by land lies the farming village of Tapgok-ri, a remote part of the city of Gongju. Here, in the middle of nowhere, is where Cathy Deocades lived. It is nothing like the glittery and glamorous world shown in Korean dramas and K-Pop music videos, which are increasingly popular among Filipino women.

The Philippine tuna industry crisis: Another look (3)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/06 Feb) -- With the Philippine seas south of Mindanao already over fished, local tuna producers have looked beyond the country’s fishing grounds for their operations. In the 1990s, local tuna producers began opening up fishing operations in Indonesia and in Papua New Guinea. By the turn of the millennium, several Filipino companies had already put up canning plants in these countries known for their rich tuna fishing grounds.

The Philippine tuna industry crisis: Another look (2)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/05 February) -- The two-year ban has impacted the volume of landing of tuna at the General Santos City fishing port complex.

The Philippine tuna industry in crisis: Another look

Cracks are beginning to appear in one of Mindanao’s premier foreign currency earning industries as the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission gears up for its critical meet in March that could impact tuna production and its future in the region. While the government and key tuna producers are calling for the lifting of the two-year ban on tuna fishing in two pockets of seas in the Western Pacific area, some individual tuna producers say a total ban will bode well for local tuna producers in the long term.

SPECIAL REPORT: Mindanao floods: Unprepared for the worst (2)

Last of two parts MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/31 December) – Weather bureau PAGASA issued storm signal number 2 for “Sendong”. In the Philippines, however, most people...
Re-installed farmer beneficiaries of the Ocaya Ranch in Barangay Kuya, Maramag, Bukidnon build a hut in the 48-hectare land awarded to them by the Department of Agrarian Reform under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reform (CARPER) on Friday, December 2. MindaNews Photo by Ruby Thursday More

Agrarian reform beneficiaries reenter contested ranch in Maramag

MARAMAG, Bukidnon (MindaNews/03 December) – Gonzalo Pinuti held his hammer tight as he detached the barbed wire from a fence of a former cattle ranch amid the blistering heat of the sun. With help from a fellow farmer, it took him about five minutes to detach the barbed wires and put down three wooden posts and let his colleagues enter the ranch with carpentry tools, round timber and tents for their temporary shelter.

Ampatuans tried to secure amnesty for cache of guns

JUST A few weeks after the Nov. 23, 2009 Maguindanao Massacre, where 58 people including 32 journalists were executed in a remote barangay in Ampatuan town, officials of the Firearms and Explosives Division (FED) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) were surprised to receive a deluge of applications for gun amnesty from one particular province in Mindanao.

SPECIAL REPORT (3): Transitioning from revolutionary group to governance team

COTABAO CITY (MindaNews/09 November) – Months before the hysteria over the P5-million fund for the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI), lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo,...

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