DAVAO CITY, Philippines – As we start 2023, we take a look back at Davao Today’s coverage of significant issues in Mindanao in 2022.

Lumad in the margins

Davao Today has covered the indigenous peoples’ struggles through the years, providing context that has been underreported in Davao media. The Talaingod Manobo may have returned to their villages in 2021 in the midst of the pandemic, but they still continue to face red-tagging. Lumad groups also questioned Vice President Sara Duterte’s – who has ostracized and vilified them during the pandemic – claim of representing the indigenous peoples by wearing an indigenous garb during the 2022 State of the Nation Address.

READ: Lumad leader reacts on claims of CPP ploy: Our struggle is historical

READ: Group questions VP Sara’s ‘solidarity’ and fashion statement for IP during SONA

Human rights

Attacks on Lumad groups and their supporters grabbed headlines, including the arrests of 76-year-old women rights activist Atheliana ‘Atel’ Hijos in Butuan and Lumad school teacher Gary Campos in Surigao del Sur on charges that they joined ambushes led by the New People’s Army. Two Lumad students were also arrested in Davao City after attending a SONA rally. These forms of legal cases have been criticized for red-tagging. The worse attack on Lumad school advocates was the murders of the Bataan 5, including teachers Chad Booc and Jurain Nguo, health worker Elgyn Balonga and drivers Robert Aragon and Tirso Añar.  

In Davao City, the killing of 19-year-old Amierkhan Mangacop, shot dead in a bar by a police doctor Dr. Marvin Rey Andrew Pepino, drew coverage from Davao Today as the family decried the narratives the police did against them.

READ: False narratives from police on shooting incident prompts family of victim to speak out

READ: Family, Lumad advocates doubt military claim on Chad Booc’s death

READ: After SONA protest vs BBM, Davao police arrests IP brothers sans warrant

READ: Police arrested old, sickly activist leader on kidnapping, murder warrants

Fighting disinformation

As the country is called ‘ground zero’ for rampant disinformation in social media that intensified during the 2022 elections, Davao Today joined the fact-checking community to counter false narratives and information that sought to influence the election. The newsroom has fact-checked over 50 claims in 2022.

Giving voice to Davaoeños on public issues

As much as the city is touted as a city controlled by the Dutertes, Davao Today made the public know the sentiments of the ‘common tao’ and Davaoeños when it comes to the economic crisis in 2022 such as oil price and water rate hike and other matters.

READ: Proposed water rate hike angers Davao consumers

READ: Taxi, jeepney drivers can barely feed families over oil price hike

READ: Fire casts seaside residents’ hope adrift in Punta Dumalag

2022 election and beyond

While the 2022 election garnered a ‘solid vote’ for the Dutertes and their allies, Davao Today raised context on people’s issues raised by civil society and watchdogs that needed to be addressed in elections.

READ: Of better choices and representation: Mags Maglana advocates progressiveness and inclusivity for 1st District

READ: ‘No such thing as Duterte country’: Davaoeños launch caravan for Leni-Kiko

Challenging Marcos’ revisionism

The return of the Marcoses has been fueled by disinformation and distortion of history. Davao Today provided a venue for Martial Law survivors in Mindanao to narrate and debunk the Marcoses’ attempt to cover up the history of their corrupt and bloodied rule.

READ: Marcos’ legitimacy a moral question, say Martial Law survivors

READ: On Martial Law, Davaoeños have different views

READ: Wounds heal but trauma, pain remain – Martial law victims

READ: REVIEW: ‘Maid in Malacañang’ is made, manipulated, Marcosian

Davao’s environmental problems

Davao Today covered more environmental issues, highlighted with energy projects pushed by local governments that raised concerns about their impact on the communities. Davao Today took the lens of community reporting that raised people’s concerns on climate change, floods, and agriculture that stressed the importance of environmental protection and climate action.

READ: Envi groups urge local council, candidates to stop Davao waste-to-energy project

READ: Envi groups denounce San Miguel Corp. over fossil fuel expansion

READ: A step away from fossil fuels, group says about Agus-Pulangi hydropower plant rehab

READ: Toxic substances in thermal receipts scare Davao cashiers

Expanding media platform

To reach out to a more diverse audience, Davao Today took on other forms of multi-media – from short video, to live coverage – that maximize social media platforms in an effort to raise public discourse. Davao Today also partnered with various organizations and media groups to bring these coverages to the public.

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As these issues will continue in 2023, we strive to continue to provide space for peoples’ voices, struggles, and opinions to bring positive and democratic impact to Davao and Philippine society. (davaotoday.com)

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