year-end stories

Ancestral lands, confi funds: Rappler’s biggest 2023 investigative, in-depth reports

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Ancestral lands, confi funds: Rappler’s biggest 2023 investigative, in-depth reports
Community and journalism go hand in hand at Rappler. In 2024, the team looks forward to doing more stories that not just trigger discussions, but also inspire action among stakeholders.

MANILA, Philippines – The year-and-a-half under President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. may not be as wild and intense as Rodrigo Duterte’s, but the year 2023 was anything but calm. 

The intensity of the news cycle is reflected in the number of stories on wide-ranging issues published under Rappler’s Newsbreak section. Through in-depth and investigative reports, reporters, researcher-writers, and contributors dove into the nitty-gritty and pulled out the big picture of the most pressing issues in the Philippines in the past year. 

The legacy of Rodrigo Duterte continues to rear its ugly head in the form of persisting violence under Marcos, the controversial confidential funds that benefited former presidential daughter Vice President Sara Duterte, the corruption at the Department of Education, and the blatant disinformation that manifested in many forms. 

Rappler also reported on challenges in the environment, including the unaddressed problems in the Visayas a decade after Super Typhoon Yolanda, the oil spill that hit Oriental Mindoro and adversely affected fishing communities, and the rising waters that placed parts of Bulacan in knee-deep floods. The team also looked into the ancestral lands, particularly the impact of powerful and entrenched political dynasties on the land issues of the Teduray community and the Higaonon ancestral land battle in Misamis Oriental, both in Mindanao. 

Putting people at the center of our journalism, Rappler published reports on the plight of persons with disabilities (PWDs) as they tried to navigate Metro Manila’s train system and struggled to join the workforce. We also highlighted the issues of overseas Filipino workers and the lack of justice for trafficked and abused migrant workers.

Community and journalism go hand in hand at Rappler. In 2024, the team looks forward to doing more stories that not just trigger discussions, but also inspire action among stakeholders – especially those in power – to bring about change. 

Check the list of stories in 2023 you should not miss.


TOP LEADERS. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Vice President Sara Duterte during Brigada Eskwela in August 2023.
The Duterte-Marcos fallout

Adult, Male, Man
PRESIDENTS. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr meets with former president Rodrigo Duterte in Malacañang on August 3, 2023.
Continued violence, from Duterte to Marcos

Art, Person, Modern Art
The dangerous fight for ancestral lands

SHELLS. Rows and rows of abandoned housing units can be found in Guadalupe Heights in northern Tacloban City.
Ten years since Yolanda

PROTECTION Mangroves at the Paraiso Mangrove Eco Learning Park Marine and Wildlife Sanctuary.
Pressing environmental issues in the PH

Banner, Text, Adult
NO TO CONFI FUNDS. Members of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan troop to the House of Representatives to demand the scrapping of confidential funds for the Office of the President and Vice President and other government agencies on September 26, 2023. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler
The controversial confidential funds

Corruption at the Department of Education

Terminal, Railway, Train
LACKING. A person with disability takes the Light Rail Transit Line 1.
Challenges faced by persons with disabilities

Advertisement, Poster, Adult
Trafficked migrants, abused overseas Filipino workers

Persistent disinformation

– Rappler.com

1 comment

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  1. ET

    Thanks to Rappler for this summary of the most important news in 2023. This is a must-read for all Rappler readers. Then the readers can pick which ones are most significant to them. For me, the most relevant ones were the West Philippine Sea issue, the Duterte-Marcos fallout, confidential funds, DepEd corruption, persistent Disinformation, and the franchise of SMNI.

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