Skinned Injustice: Christine Silawan, Rest in Peace

It was a viral news story that gripped the entire nation. Last March 12, the authorities discovered the corpse of 16 year old Christine Lee Silawan in a vacant lot in Sitio Mahayahay, Barangay Bangkal, Lapu-Lapu, City Cebu. Her undergarments were missing. She had around thirty stab wounds. Half of her face has been skinned….

Babae

Anak, ina, babae—iyan si Ligaya, biktima ng sex trafficking at ng mapapait na karanasan ng buhay. Bakit nga ba maraming babae ang nagiging biktima nito? Bakit ba ganito ang trato ng ilang lalaki sa mga babae na parang isang tuyong sanga na pwedeng baliin? Limang taong gulang pa lamang noon si Ligaya nang pagsamantalahan siya ng…

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,…

Nanlaban

Ang dali. Ang daling sabihin: “Eh kung ‘di naman kasi sila tamad, kung nagpursige ba sila sa pag-aaral. Kung ‘di sila nag-anak ng apat, anim, siyam. Kung ‘di na lang sila umalis sa probinsya para maghanap ng trabaho sa Maynila. Kung tumanggi sila. Kung ‘di sila adik. Kung ‘di sila tulak.” Ang daling sabihin kasi…

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…

Drug Lords: The Curse of My Clan

There are four stages in a fight. First, the trigger. I was in fifth grade when one of my bullies asked me in a tone that’s intended to mock: “Are the infamous drug lords in our city related to you?” Her query was not without substance. I bear the same last name as these big time…