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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)2022, davao city, Mindanao, philippines