Rappler investigative team SOPA finalists for drug war story
MANILA, Philippines – Rappler's investigative team are finalists for two categories of the 2019 Society of Publishers in Asia Awards for Editorial Excellence (SOPA).
Rappler’s 7-part investigative story, “Murder in Manila,” that begins with “Some People Need Killing,” was announced a finalist on Friday, May 3.
The story, written and investigated by Patricia Evangelista, photographed by Magnum fellow Carlo Gabuco, with reports by justice beat reporter Lian Buan and police reporter Rambo Talabong, is a finalist for the Investigative Journalism and Human Rights Reporting categories. The investigative team, Newsbreak, is headed by editor and Rappler founder Chay Hofileña.
The series was published daily for a week beginning October 4, 2018. It investigates the local chapter of a vigilante gang in Tondo, Manila, whose members had been arrested for murdering drug suspects and small-time criminals, including a 16-year old boy.
Rappler’s 6-month investigation showed strong indications that the police were outsourcing extrajudicial killings to the Confederate Sentinels Group, a group of force multipliers they had also accused of murder.
Evangelista won the SOPA for Excellence in Feature Writing in 2017, for “In the name of the Father,” published on December 15, 2016, one of the 24 stories published to date in Rappler’s “Impunity Series.”
SOPA awards winners in 17 categories, organized into 3 groups depending on the reach of the media agency. A number of other Filipino networks were also announced as finalists.
ABS-CBN News Digital has two finalists, with "Stories from Under the Rubble: Inside the Battle for Marawi" in the Excellence for Journalistic Innovation category and "The Boracay Project" for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment. "Tiempo Muerto: Hope Springs in the Season of Death" from GMA News Online is nominated for Excellence in Feature Writing.
The SOPA Awards were established in 1999 “as a tribute to editorial excellence in both traditional and new media" throughout the Asian region. Judges come from the region’s leading newspapers and magazines, as well as from prestigious universities.
The announcement of winners will be held on May 29 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center.