Reuters bags Pulitzer for Phl drug war story

The Philippine Star - - FRONT PAGE - – With Paolo Romero, Christina Men­dez With Christina Men­dez, Mayen Jay­ma­lin

A Filipino was among the Reuters jour­nal­ists who re­ceived this year’s Pulitzer Prize for the news agency’s “re­lent­less” re­port­ing on the thou­sands killed in the war on drugs of the Duterte ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Manuel Mogato, a cor­re­spon­dent in Reuters’ Manila bu­reau, along with Clare Baldwin and An­drew R.C. Mar­shall won in the In­ter­na­tional Re­port­ing cat­e­gory with its

se­ries: “Duterte’s War.”

Mogato, Baldwin and Mar­shall were cited for their “re­lent­less re­port­ing that ex­posed the bru­tal killing cam­paign be­hind Philip­pines Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s war on drugs.”

The three were among 14 jour­nal­ists from around the globe who won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize. Seven other in­di­vid­u­als won in the let­ters, drama and mu­sic cat­e­gories.

Mogato is the third Filipino to win the pres­ti­gious award. Jose An­to­nio Var­gas bagged the award in 2008 as a mem­ber of the Wash­ing­ton Post team that re­ported on the Vir­ginia Tech shoot­ing.

Car­los P. Ro­mulo re­ceived the Pulitzer Prize in 1942 for his re­port­ing on de­vel­op­ments in the Far East as a cor­re­spon­dent of the Philip­pine Her­ald.

Baldwin, who pre­vi­ously wrote for sev­eral news­pa­pers in the US, is a spe­cial cor­re­spon­dent for Reuters who has in­ves­ti­gated the Philip­pine drug war since it be­gan in June 2016 and is a re­cip­i­ent of other jour­nal­ism awards.

Mar­shall is South­east Asia spe­cial cor­re­spon­dent for Reuters and re­ceived the same award in 2014 for re­port­ing on the plight of the Ro­hingya in Myan­mar.

Mogato said this was the burn­ing ques­tion in the mind of the team in com­ing up with the se­ries that started shortly be­fore Duterte won the elec­tions in 2016.

He said some­time in April 2016 he was able to in­ter­view a mar­ket ven­dor whose four sons were killed by vig­i­lantes be­lieved to be tak­ing or­ders from Duterte on sus­pi­cion of their in­volve­ment in il­le­gal drugs.

Mogato said the mother ex­pressed fears that if Duterte wins, the killings will be repli­cated na­tion­wide.

“So we kept ask­ing: ‘Who’s do­ing all these (killings)? Who’s be­hind these?’” Mogato told The STAR.

“The re­ports took a lot of time, ef­fort and re­sources be­cause all those in the gov­ern­ment con­cerned have the right of re­ply,” he said.

Mogato said the drafts were re­viewed by Reuters edi­tors and lawyers in Lon­don and New York.

In a tele­vi­sion in­ter­view, Mogato said among their sources was a re­tired po­lice gen­eral, who in turn in­tro­duced them to po­lice­men who de­scribed how the crime scenes were staged.

Mogato, who has been sub­jected to threats be­cause of the re­port, asked his fel­low jour­nal­ists not to give up pur­su­ing the truth.

“Con­tinue per­se­ver­ing, don’t let go. Do you think evil will tri­umph over good? In the end, some­thing good will hap­pen,” he said.

Mala­cañang con­grat­u­lated Mogato but main­tained Duterte’s drug war is a le­git­i­mate gov­ern­ment oper­a­tion.

“Def­i­nitely, I’d have to con­grat­u­late Manuel Mogato but the fact re­mains that the pol­icy of the Pres­i­dent on the drug war is that the drug war is le­git­i­mate, it is in­tended to pro­tect the youth from the ill­ef­fects of drugs,” pres­i­den­tial spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said.

Duterte has been crit­i­cal of hu­man rights groups and even me­dia firms ex­pos­ing the killings.

“Num­ber two, that killings com­mit­ted by state au­thor­i­ties, for as long as they are le­gal, will be de­fended by the state,” Roque said.

Roque main­tained the gov­ern­ment is not tol­er­at­ing rogues in the po­lice force, in­clud­ing those who abuse their au­thor­ity. He cited the case of 17-yearold Kian delos San­tos, a stu­dent killed by po­lice of­fi­cers dur­ing a sup­posed shootout.

“As in the case of Kian delos San­tos, if the killings are con­trary to law and not jus­ti­fied, we will cause the crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­tion of the po­lice­men con­cerned,” he added. blah,” Duterte said.

He said he thought those who were con­vinc­ing him to run were af­ter the bet­ter­ment of the coun­try and would not en­gage in cor­rup­tion.

“Ayaw ko sana ‘yung mawalaan ako ng bilib sa kaibi­gan o kak­i­lala (I didn’t want to lose con­fi­dence in friends). I hate it be­cause I know… they meant well,” Duterte said. “But along the way, may pa­pa­sok ta­laga na kaloko­han (they com­mit wrong­do­ing) ang p***.”

Say was re­cruited by Bello and is not a long-time sup­porter of Duterte. –

Mogato

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