A collection of Aries Rufo's Rappler stories
MANILA, Philippines – Before his sudden passing, investigative journalist and book author Aries Rufo built a solid body of work that exposed wrongdoing and corruption in a wide range of sectors.
From the Church to the courts, military to politics, Customs to the Commission on Audit (COA), pork barrel to the Disbursement Acceleration Program and even Overseas Filipino Worker Mary Jane Veloso, Rufo wrote investigative, in-depth pieces often cited in legislative inquiries, and the source of leads for government investigators.
His reporting on former Sandiganbayan Justice Gregory Ong and his ties with alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles caught the eye of a special investigating body led by retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez.
He challenged authority, politicians, institutions, and was persistent in his digging and unearthing of information not readily available. He was daring, fearless and undaunted. He had an uncanny ability to make people talk and open up to him, sharing with him secrets and valuable information for his stories.
As Rappler's senior investigative reporter, he also hosted podcasts on investigative reporting, interviewing whistleblowers, insiders and pundits.
Rufo, 45, died of cardiac arrest on Saturday, September 19.
In a Facebook post, Rappler editor-at-large Marites Dañguilan-Vitug paid tribute to Rufo's two decades of reporting.
“I looked forward to our election coverage, you making sense of so much stuff, numbers on SALNs, figures in a procurement database, campaign contributions and expenses, COA reports, PDAF (pork barrel). And the Catholic Church – plus, lately, the INC (Iglesia ni Cristo). Such a range of interests! Aries, life is made of stories (a poet once said this) and you've been on a roll here, shared with us so much,” Vitug said.
“Yet it has to end this way, death stealing you so early. Goodbye, Aries.”
As Rappler bids Rufo goodbye, we share a compilation of the stories he wrote for the site. His work lives on in the pieces, interviews and insights he left behind.
PDAF, Malampaya scams
The fall of the rising star (an excerpt in his book, Altar of Secrets: Sex, Money, and Politics in the Philippine Catholic Church)
Binay and Makati