The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) is an independent, nonprofit media agency that specializes in investigative reporting. It was founded in 1989 by nine Filipino journalists who realized, from their years on the beat and at the news desk, the need for newspapers and broadcast agencies to go beyond day-to-day reportage.
While the Philippine press is undoubtedly the liveliest and freest in Asia, deadline pressures, extreme competition and budgetary constraints make it difficult for many journalists to delve into the causes and broader meanings of news events.
The Center believes that the media play a crucial role in scrutinizing and strengthening democratic institutions. The media could—and should—be a catalyst for social debate and consensus that would redound to the promotion of public welfare. To do so, the media must provide citizens with the bases for arriving at informed opinions and decisions.
The Center was set up to contribute to this end by promoting investigative reporting on current issues in Philippine society and on matters of large public interest. It does not intend to replace the work of individual newspapers or radio and television stations, but merely seeks to encourage the development of investigative journalism and to create a culture for it within the Philippine press.
The Center funds investigative projects for both the print and broadcast media. It puts out books on current issues and publishes i Report online every month. In addition, PCIJ organizes training seminars for journalists and provides trainers for news organizations in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. It also conducts seminars and studies on issues involving the media and information access.
In the 19 years since its founding, PCIJ has published over 400 articles in major Philippine newspapers and magazines, produced five full-length documentaries, and launched over a dozen books. It has also won major awards, including nine National Book Awards, a Catholic Mass Media Award, and more than two dozen awards and citations from the Jaime V. Ongpin Awards for Investigative Journalism.
PCIJ stories make an impact. Well-researched and well-documented, these reports have contributed to a deeper understanding of raging issues, from politics to the environment, from health and business to women and the military. Some of these reports have prodded government action on issues like corruption, public accountability and environmental protection.
5-8 August 2002. The PCIJ exposed how politically well-connected independent power plant (IPP) contractors wangled sweetheart deals with various governments, resulting in higher electricity costs for consumers.
2-3 April 2001. The PCIJ reported how, four days after it assumed office, the Arroyo government gave the final approval, in the form of a Department of Justice ruling, to a controversial power plant contract ran by the Argentine firm IMPSA. That report raised questions about the propriety of the ruling issued by Justice Secretary Hernando Perez and was used in a Senate investigation on the case held in January 2003.
July to October 2000. The PCIJ released three reports on President Estrada's unexplained wealth and the mansions he was building for his mistresses. All three became part of the impeachment suit filed against the President in November 2000.
11 March 1996. We reported that Health Secretary Hilarion Ramiro was responsible for large-scale anomalies in the Department of Health and was skimming off as much as 40 percent from government contracts. Two weeks later, Ramiro was forced to resign.
4-6 December 1995. We wrote about how jueteng continues to thrive in Pangasinan, the home province of then President Fidel V. Ramos. A few days later, Ramos ordered an investigation into the allegations and asked local police and government officials to put a stop to jueteng in the province.
10 July 1995. We exposed how the then Presidential Anti-Crime Commission (PACC) tortured two 12-year-old boys suspected of involvement in a kidnapping. Two days later, the Commission on Human Rights ordered a probe of the incident. Later, lawyers filed charges against the PACC.
11 October 1993. PCIJ wrote about Rose Marie "Baby" Arenas, alleged presidential paramour, and her supposed influence on the affairs of state. Three days later, the Securities and Exchange Commission took over a disputed one-third of the shares of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the only paper that ran the story.
17 August 1993. PCIJ reported that the House Speaker, Jose de Venecia, left a trail of unpaid debts amounting to P5 billion, when he was head of the Landoil conglomerate in the 1980s. One week later, the Senate began an investigation of Landoil Resources Corporation.
28 January 1993. PCIJ reported that the most senior Supreme Court justice faked authorship of a decision upholding the PLDT's (telecommunications giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company) right to block the operation of an international gateway by its rival, Eastern Telecoms. After four days, Justice Hugo Gutierrez resigned from the Court.
14 December 1992. PCIJ exposed how dolphins are being slaughtered and eaten by fishermen. Two weeks later, the environment department issued an order banning the killing of these marine mammals.
4 April 1990. PCIJ began a series on how a seaweed farm was threatening Tubbataha reef, a national marine park in the Sulu Sea. Seven weeks later, a Philippine Navy team demolished the farm, enforcing an eviction order by the environment department.
A board of editors, composed mostly of PCIJ's founders, meets every month to guide and assess the Center's operations. A board of advisers, composed of men and women chosen for their probity, independence and integrity, helps determine the broad directions of the Center.
PCIJ receives foundation support for its work. It earns a modest income
from its publications, which is plowed back into the Center's operations.
Sheila S. Coronel
(Founding Executive Director)
Howie G. Severino
Ma. Ceres P. Doyo
Dominick NA Danao
Alecks P. Pabico
Jaileen F. Jimeno
Alecks P. Pabico
Annie Ruth Sabangan
Karol Anne Ilagan