Newsbreak Reads: Rowena Tiamson, not a drug pusher

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Newsbreak Reads: Rowena Tiamson, not a drug pusher
She was smart, she was talented, and she was not supposed to be part of the 'collateral damage' of the war against drugs. This is the story of 22-year-old Rowena Tiamson.

Welcome to Newsbreak Reads – audio recordings of select in-depth stories and long form pieces from Rappler’s investigative and research section. For the full text version of this story, visit

MANILA, Philippines – Rowena Tiamson was a graduating student with big dreams for herself and her family. A consistent honor student and a choir member, the 22-year-old did not fit the profile of a drug user.

But her lifeless body was found in Pangasinan on July 19, a cardboard sign around her neck saying “Huwag tularan, pusher (Don’t emulate me. I’m a pusher.)”

Her family and friends insist that she had been wrongly killed, and that she did not deserve to be part of the “collateral damage” of the government’s bloody campaign against drugs. –

7-minute listen. Written by Jodesz Gavilan, read by Marguerite de Leon, edited by Exxon Ruebe. Read the full text story here.

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