Rappler investigative story on drug war finalist in 2019 Global Shining Light Awards

MANILA, Philippines – A Rappler investigative series on President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-illegal drugs campaign is a finalist at the 2019 Global Shining Light Awards of the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN). 

The announcement was made on Wednesday, July 17. 

The 7-part Murder in Manila series, published daily beginning October 4, 2018, 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.

The story was written and investigated by Patricia Evangelista, photographed by Magnum fellow Carlo Gabuco, with reports by justice reporter Lian Buan and police reporter Rambo Talabong. The investigative team, Newsbreak, is headed by editor and Rappler co-founder Chay Hofileña.

The series, placed under the "Large Outlets" category, is one of the 12 investigative reports chosen as finalists from "a record 291 entries," according to GIJN. 

"The stellar entries submitted to the Global Shining Light Award attest that investigative reporting continues to thrive even in the most adverse circumstances. Despite ever-increasing threats to their safety and attacks on their legitimacy, muckrakers around the world are holding the powerful to account through brave and rigorous reporting," the judges were quoted as saying. 

Winners will be announced at the 2019 Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Hamburg, Germany on September 28.

The Murder in Manila series won the Excellence in Human Rights Reporting Award and Excellence in Investigative Reporting Award of the Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA) in May 2019. 

It is one of the many stories Rappler has produced on Duterte's violent war on drugs which has claimed the lives of more than 6,000 people in police operations alone. Human rights groups, however, estimate the numbers to reach more than 20,000 to include victims of vigilante-style killings. (READ: The Impunity Series– Rappler.com