Filipino journalist bags Pulitzer award for PH drug war coverage

By CNN Philippines Staff

Reuters’ Filipino correspondent Manuel Mogato, along with his colleagues Clare Baldwin and Andrew R.C. Marshall, won the 2018 Pulitzer award for International Reporting on Monday for their coverage of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

The Pulitzer awards recognize achievements in newspaper, magazine, and online journalism, literature, and music composition in the United States since 1917. Their award for International Reporting honors journalists who have shown excellence in covering international affairs.

The Reuters’ team was cited “for relentless reporting that exposed the brutal killing campaign behind Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.”

In 2017, Reuters published an investigative series entitled “Duterte’s War” covering various stories on drug-related killings in the Philippines. Their articles include “Dead on Arrival” an investigative research on the number of apprehended suspects declared dead on arrival in the hospitals.

In November that year, the international news agency released CCTV footage that contradicted police accounts on the death of three men in an anti-drug operation in Tondo, Manila.

A police report on the incident said the three men shot during the raid were rushed to hospital, where they were pronounced dead on arrival. But security footage obtained by Reuters showed it took police at least 25 minutes to haul away the men they shot, carrying them by their arms and legs and loading their limp bodies onto pedicabs to bring them to the hospital.

The report prompted the government to open an investigation.

Among those nominated were the staff of Buzzfeed News and the staff of Associated Press. Buzzfeed was nominated for their reporting on a targeted killing campaign by operatives with ties to Vladimir Putin, while the Associated Press’ series featuring the United States-led defeat of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, was also a contender.

The Philippine war on drugs is a contested project in President Duterte’s administration by the Human Rights Watch and the United Nations. The government has claimed that deaths in the war has reached over 4,000 while human rights groups estimated 13,000.

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