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At least one in five victims of drug-related killings in Metro Manila in 2016 and 2017 were beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), our field and database research over the past two years show.

Until they were charged with the murder of 58 persons on Nov. 23, 2009, the Ampatuans lived in mansions, traveled with a retinue of armed escorts in a convoy of black SUVs, flew business class, and in the first days of their detention, enjoyed catered meals.

A week after the Ampatuan Massacre of Nov. 23, 2009, the Ampatuans tried to secure amnesty for dozens of their high-powered, high-end firearms. After the massacre, the AFP unearthed or seized 1,200 illegal firearms in Maguindanao, including at least 300 reportedly linked to the incident.

Fraught still with attacks and threats -- that is the sorry state of media freedom in the Philippines under the Duterte Administration. It highlights the unyielding reign of impunity, even as the nation awaits next week the promulgation of judgment on Dec. 19, 2019 of the Ampatuan Massacre case of Nov. 23, 2009 that claimed the lives of 58 persons, including 32 journalists and media workers.

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