From the Sidelines of the War on Illegal Drugs

“’Yang mga drug adik na yan, dapat lang patayin ‘yang mga ‘yan, mga salot sa lipunan.” “Bagay lang sa kanila ‘yan, patayin na ‘yang mga adik na ‘yan.” “Mga pusher at adik, salot sa lipunan!” These are just some of the remarks that have circulated on social media since the Duterte administration announced its war…

The Disappearance of Carl Angelo Arnaiz and Kulot de Guzman

The mysterious turn of events started in this particular place in West Bank, Cainta, Rizal on August 18, 2017. At around past 12 o’clock midnight, 19-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz was in his home tending to his sari-sari store by this window. Three of his neighbors were idly spending time here. Gelo, as his family would…

No, Mr. President, I Do Not Feel Safe

I live in Barangay Holy Spirit, Quezon City, adjacent to the Camanava district in Northern Metro Manila. Early morning, Friday, August 18, the Northern Police District was wrapping up their overnight drug sweep of Camanava that yielded 24 deaths, and 36 arrests. That same Friday, at around 1:30 am, I went home later than usual…

To the Boy Who Lost His Father to the Drug War

It was eight o’ clock in the evening along Taft Avenue in Manila when a street child was going around each store to ask for food, if not for some coins. He was thin, muddled, and soaked in the rain. He approached me with the usual demand, “Kuya, pahingi naman ng pambiling pagkain.” (Older brother,…

Summary Execution at Temple Drive

On September 10, 2016, at around 1:55am, witnesses said they saw a silver Toyota Fortuner come to a complete stop in a sidewalk along Temple Drive in Barangay Ugong Norte, Quezon City. Afterwards, they heard multiple gunshots. Then the vehicle sped away in the direction of White Plains Subdivision. In a matter of split seconds,…

Their Last Moments on Earth

After dusk, when darkness sprawls over the metro — thieves, murderers and drug personalities find their most opportune time to do business. And where these hooligans leave a bloody mess, that’s where my duty as a graveyard reporter begins. The dirty job takes some getting used to. But I’ve never thought that my graveyard shift will…

How to Get Away with Murder: The Pemberton Verdict and LGBT Rights

Until now, Julita Cabillan fondly calls her daughter, “Ganda.” To the rest of the world, she is known as Jennifer Laude, Jeffrey to those who cannot accept that a person can choose his or her own gender identity. Whatever you call her, she’s now just a name, a memory. For Julita, the lower court verdict…