Filipino photojournalist Ezra Acayan has won second prize in the Spot News Singles category in the World Press Photo Awards for his photograph of the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.
Acayan’s photo of an alleged male drug personality shot dead by unidentified gunmen in front of mourners at a wake won second behind eventual World Press Photo of the Year winner John Moore’s image of the North American immigrant crisis.
Acayan photographed police scene of the crime operatives viewing a body in a casket while working on the crime scene of an alleged victim of extrajudicial killing in Quezon City in August 2018.
The Filipino lensman’s previous works on the drug war have been recognized by other award-giving bodies, such as the Ian Parry Scholarship Award for Achievement and the Lucie Award for Philippine Photographer of the Year.
Acayan’s work has focused on social issues and human rights in the last three years. His photographs of the drug war along with works by other journalists have been exhibited in other venues in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
He has done multimedia work for various outfits such as Reuters, European Pressphoto Agency and Agence France-Presse and is a member of the Photojournalists’ Center of the Philippines.
Meanwhile, the haunting image taken by John Moore of a little girl crying helplessly as she and her mother are taken into custody by US border officials won the prestigious World Press Photo Award in Amsterdam on Thursday.
Judges said veteran Getty photographer Moore’s picture taken after Honduran mother Sandra Sanchez and her daughter Yanela illegally crossed the US-Mexico border last year showed “a different kind of violence that is psychological.”
The picture of the wailing toddler was published worldwide and caused a public outcry about Washington’s controversial policy to separate thousands of migrants and their children.
US Customs and Border Protection officials later said Yanela and her mom were not among those separated, but the public furore “resulted in President Donald Trump reversing the policy in June last year,” the judges said.
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