2023: Looking back at darkness

The killing of Jerhode “Jemboy” Baltazar on August 2, 2023 should not be so easily forgotten. He was seventeen when he died. His death should not be regarded as a just another case study of crime in our cities. It is an episode, yes, a tragedy in the news that could fade away without so much as leaving an imprint on the public mind. Filipinos must take note of the shadow it has cast on our lives, even if we did not know him. Its collective remembrance might help us understand the evil that has increasingly shrouded our society, the abuse of state power, and its persistent attack against citizens these agencies are supposed to protect. 

Team Unity on the verge of break up

As the country prepared for the 2022 presidential elections, Senator Imee Marcos described in August 2021 the possible team up of her brother Ferdinand Marcos Jr. with Sara Duterte as a “marriage made in heaven.” 

These words expressed the conventional wisdom of bringing together two dynasties from the north and the south. Rodrigo Duterte’s popularity still ran high, and both Marcos and Duterte as political names enjoyed recall. 

There was an even greater driving force, as a network of influencers and content creators pushed false narratives, historical revision, and fables about the Marcos family’s desire to share their wealth in gold.

It was a two-fold victory: Marcos restored his family’s name to power and Duterte continued her family’s hold in the political arena. But no marriage can stand up to political self-interest. Policy divisions showed up fissures which, despite claims that all was well, broke up the team in 2023. 

The hope that
I lost in The Hague

“BUT YOU have a free press, right?” is a question I’d never thought I would have to answer from an important source in The Hague, the legal capital of the world and the seat of the International Criminal Court (ICC) that is investigating, for the first time, the Philippines for alleged crimes against humanity under the leadership of strongman Rodrigo Duterte.
 I could not say, in good conscience, that we do not have a democracy…

Journalism’s Jackpot: Why an active bet on local news is worth placing 

THE RIGORS of climbing the scholastic ladder at one of the Philippines’ “Big Four” universities can’t keep Jeremaiah Opiniano, a journalist with a Ph.D., from playing the lottery.
Despite the slim odds of one in 29 million to win the ₱100-million ($2 million) jackpot, he already has plans for the money: to build a local news company…


When the loss is ours

 WHAT MADE me realize how much has changed in the media industry was gloomy advice for graduation students in the early 80s which I picked up in a news article.
In the story, a well-respected columnist warned the would-be graduates of the limited number of available jobs in the bleeding newspaper industry. Schools are pumping out so many journalism graduates every year, she said, but major dailies just can’t open up more positions…

De Lima’s Detention: A Cautionary Tale of How Laws Were Weaponized and How Media Could’ve Covered It Better

The initial allegation against former Senator Leila de Lima came from the then-president himself, Rodrigo Duterte: She facilitated the illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

“She was on the take. She could not have allowed those things to happen…for nothing? You must be kidding,” he told reporters in August 2016 at a visit to a wake of a police officer slain during a drug operation.


The annual digital microsite which contains the findings of the Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility’s (CMFR) journalism review on media and press performance.





Melinda Quintos De Jesus 
Jeraldine Pascual
Leah Perez
Andie Canivel
Glenn Ferrariz II  
Lara De Jesus