30 years of news reportage
A timeline of stories that captured the headlines for the past 3 decades
(February 11, 1987 to February, 1996)
The first year following EDSA People Power in 1986 was jubilant and tumultuous. It was a period of adjustment for a society that had newfound freedom, particularly of the press. The first issue of The Manila Standard was published on February 11, 1987. Its headlines included a clash between the New People’s Army rebels and the military forces, and assurances by the late President Corazon Aquino to army colonels that there are no Red advisers in the government.
By August of that year, the newspaper covered a coup attempt by rebel soldiers, said to be the bloodiest of the six attempts against President Cory Aquino with 50 people killed and 200 wounded. 1987 also saw the crash of Philippine Airlines PR 206 into a mountain in Benguet with 50 passengers killed, and the sinking of passenger ferry MV Doña Paz when it collided with oil tanker MT Vector at Tablas Strait, killing 4,341 passengers and crew. On a much brighter note, San Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint, was canonized on October 18, 1987.
February 10, 1987
A total 18 people, including a young Army lieutenant, are killed in Barangay Namulandayan, Lupao in Nueva Ecija near the foot of the Caraballo mountain range following a running gunbattle between communist rebels and Army troops. The soldier is identified as Lt. Edgar Dizon. His unidentified radioman is wounded.
February 11, 1987
Manila Standard, believing it can, among others, serve as an intellectual forum for ideas, whether clashing or complimentary, clambers up the news stands in Metro Manila.
April 18, 1987
A Black Saturday, 56 rebel soldiers stage a raid on Fort Bonifacio but is repelled within the morning with one rebel soldier dead.
August 28, 1987
The most serious attempt to overthrow the Aquino administration is launched by members of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement led by Col. Gregorio Honasan, a former top aide of Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile, with soldiers launching the attack on Malacanang. The siege is repelled but several military and civilians, including Aquino’s son Benigno III, are wounded.
Rebel soldiers also seize parts of Villamor Airbase, three TV stations in Manila, military camps in Pampanga and Cebu, and the airport in Legazpi City.
December 20, 1987
The MV Doña Paz, travelling from Leyte to Manila, and the oil tanker MT Vector collide, leaving a death toll of 4,386 people and 24 survivors, making the accident the deadliest peacetime maritime disaster in history.
April 2, 1988
The leader of the August coup attempt, Lt. Col. Gregorio Honasan, that almost toppled the administration of President Corazon Aquino escapes from his prison ship in Manila Bay aboard two rubber boats along with 13 of his guards, according to the military.
January 5, 1989
Some soldiers seize Camp Cawa-Cawa in Zamboanga City, after Rizal alih kills seven people including Gen. Eduardo Batalla and Col. Romeo Abendan of the Philippine Constabulary.
September 28, 1989
President Ferdinand Marcos, 10th president of the Philippines and the longest president to stay in office, dies in his Hawaii exile at the age of 72 of kidney, heart and lung ailments. He was ousted in a Catholic Church-backed so-called People Power revolution on Feb. 25, 1986 and his family was transported by four Sikorsky HH-3E helicopters to Clark Air Base in Angeles City before boarding US Air Force C-130 planes bound for Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, and finally to Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii.
October 1 to 13, 1989
Typhoon “Dan,” known in the Philippines as Typhoon “Saling,” is the third of a series of tropical cyclones that impact the Philippines in two weeks, leaving hundreds of thousands homeless and 58 dead. Super Typhoon Angela, locally known as Typhoon “Rubing,” formed in late September but had devastating wrath in early October, causes severe damage worth $8 million and leaves 119 fatalities.
Typhoon “Elsie,” named in the Philippines Typhoon “Tasing,” is one of the most intense known tropical cyclones to make landfall in the country, leaves 47 people killed and 363 injured. Damage nationwide is placed at $35.4 million and some 332,000 people lose their homes.
December 1, 1989
Three rebel T-28D Trojans rake Malacañang with rockets and gunfire, the rebel soldiers wrongly assuming they have achieved air superiority by effectively neutralizing the assets of the 5th Fighter Wing of the Philippine Air Force.
By 1990 to 1991, the world faced an oil crisis with the Persian Gulf War. This oil price shock occurred in response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990. The Philippines was affected as much of its oil was imported from Kuwait, hence prices of gasoline and other oil products went up, and there was a need to ration supply at gasoline stations. Another impact of the Gulf War was the displacement of overseas Filipino workers, particularly those who were employed in the countries in conflict.
On July 16, 1990, a magnitude 7.8-earthquake hit Northern and Central Luzon, killing an estimated 1,621 people and causing damages worth P15 billion. Its epicenter was recorded in Nueva Ecija, and the shaking lasted for about a minute. This earthquake is thought to be connected to another catastrophe. When Mt. Pinatubo erupted on June 15, 1991,it became the second-largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century. It is also one of the most destructive eruptions, as it affected the densely populated areas of Zambales, Tarlac, Pampanga. The volcano, located at the central part of the Zambales mountain range, produced high-speed avalanches of hot ash and gas, giant mudflows, and a cloud of volcanic ash that is said to have reached as far as India.
March 4, 1990
Suspended Cagayan Gov. Rodolfo Aguinaldo and his armed men of 200 seize Hotel Delfino in Tuguegarao as a result of the previous failed coup against President Aquino. Several hours later, a gunfight ensues intending to kill Aguinaldo and his men. At a checkpoint shootout one of Aguinaldo’s men is found dead, including Florendo and 12 others and 10 more wounded.
July 16, 1990
The magnitude 7.8 earthquake produces a 125-km long ground rupture that stretches from Dingalan, Aurora to Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija, which resulted from strike-slip movements along the Philippine Fault and the Digdig Fault. An estimated 1,621 people are killed, most of the fatalities in Central Luzon and the Cordillera region.
October 4, 1990
Mutinying soldiers stage a dawn raid on an army base in Mindanao. The seizure lasts for two days, ending with Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim and 21 others capitulating to the government on Oct. 6.
June 15, 1991
The second-largest volcanic eruption of this century, and by far the largest eruption to affect a densely populated area, occurs at Mount Pinatubo, an active stratovolcano in the Cabusilan Mountains near the tripoint of Zambales, Tarlac and Pampanga. The eruption after more than 600 years produces high-speed avalanches of hot ash and gas, giant mudflows, and a cloud of volcanic ash hundreds of miles across. More than 350 people die during the eruption, most of them from collapsing roofs. Disease that breaks out in evacuation camps and the continuing mud flows in the area cause additional deaths, bringing the total death toll to 722 people.
May 11, 1992
Presidential elections, legislative elections and local elections are held, the first general elections under the 1987 Constitution with an estimated 80,000 candidates running for 17,000 posts from the presidency down to municipal councilors. Retired Gen. Fidel Ramos of Lakas-NUCD wins a six-year term as President by a small margin, narrowly defeating populist candidate Miriam Defensor Santiago of People’s Reform Party.
July 2, 1993
The annual Bocaue River Festival in Bocaue, Bulacan is marred by the sinking of a floating pagoda, the centerpiece of the festivities, which results in the drowning of more than 200 devotees.
The Festival is a celebration held every first Sunday of July in Bocaue in honor of the Holy Cross, the Mahal na Poon ng Krus sa Wawa, found in the river in 1850.
September 24, 1993
Former First Lady Imelda R. Marcos is found by the Sandiganbayan guilty of corruption and sentenced to 18 to 24 years in prison. The conviction comes seven years after she and her husband, Ferdinand Marcos, were hounded out of the Philippines in the Edsa Revolution in February 1986. Outside the packed courtroom, crowds of her supporters hold vigil; opposite them, hundreds of anti-Marcos protesters cheer her conviction.
These 10 years were not full of bad news, thankfully. The Philippines first made its connection to the internet on March 29, 1994, when the Philippine Network Foundation (PHNet) connected to Sprint in the United States via a 64 kbit/s link.
December 11, 1994
The Bojinka plot, a large-scale, three-phase attack planned by Islamists Ramzi Yousef and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed for January 1995, to assassinate Pope John Paul II during his visit to the Philippines, is uncovered after a chemical fire draws the Philippine National Police attention. The plan calls for the blowing up of 11 airliners in flight from Asia to the United States, which is expected to kill about 4,000 passengers and shut down air travel around the world, and crashing a plane into the headquarters of the CIA in Fairfax County, Virginia.
January 10 to 15, 1995
Pope John Paul II presides over World Youth Day, a Catholic youth festival held in the Philippines that year. It is the first time an Asian country is hosting the event. This is the second visit of Pope John Paul to the country. He came in 1981 to beatify Lorenzo Ruiz.
(February 10, 1996-February 9, 2006)
The second decade of the Manila Standard’s reportage started out with an economic downturn. The Asian Financial Crisis hit in 1997 as a series of currency devaluations that started with Thailand, causing stock market declines and reduced import revenues. The Manila Standard kept vigil on the effects of the crisis, monitoring its effect on the local economy, which was thankfully mitigated by its export growth and a large overseas workforce remitting foreign currency.
The world was shocked and saddened by the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997. Her death was met with extraordinary public expressions of grief, and her funeral at Westminster Abbey on September 6 drew an estimated 3 million mourners and onlookers in London and on 2.5 billion people on television worldwide. Mother Teresa of Calcutta’s death followed shortly after Diana’s. The Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary died in India at the age of 87. Media dubbed September 5, 1997 as a double day of mourning, as the world was still reeling from Diana’s untimely death.
1998 marked a whole year of celebrations for the Philippine Centennial or the 100th Anniversary of Philippine Independence. Then President Fidel V. Ramos led a host of activities centered around the theme 100 Kalayaan: Kayamanan ng Bayan (1898-1998). Among the highlights of the celebration were a Reception for the Heads of State, Exhibits, Cultural Shows, Trade Fairs, Fireworks display competition and the re-enactment of the Kawit flag raising on June 12 and a Balikabayan Centennial Ball on June 13.
“Baka ma-Echegaray ka,” was a warning and a buzzword on the streets around February 5, 1999. House painter Leo Echegaray was the first Filipino to be meted the death penalty after its reinstatement in the Philippines in 1993. He was executed by lethal injection at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City after being found guilty of the rape of his stepdaughter Baby Echegaray, who was 10 years old at the time of the crime.
On August 3, 1999, at least 58 people died after a massive landslide occurred in Cherry Hills subdivision in Antipolo City, Rizal province. News coverages showed shocked and distraught relatives and the victim’s bodies being carried away, with politicians visiting the site to offer relief and promising to look into the tragedy. This eventually paved the way for stricter laws and ordinances on housing and more accountability on the part of real estate developers.
March 24, 1996
The Marcopper Mining Disaster in Marinduque occurs, one of the largest mining disasters in Philippinne history. A fracture in the drainage tunnel of a large pit containing leftover mine tailings leads to a discharge of toxic mine waste into the Makulapnit-Boac river system and causes flash floods in areas along the river. One village, Barangay Hinapulan, is buried in six feet of muddy floodwater, causing the displacement of 400 families. Twenty other villages are evacuated. Drinking water is contaminated, killing fish and freshwater shrimp. Large animals like cows, pigs and sheep are overcome and killed. The flooding destroys crops and irrigation channels. Following the disaster, the Boac River is declared unusable.
April 21, 1997
Former President Diosdado Macapagal, the ninth President (1961-1965) and the sixth Vice President (1957-1961), dies. He ran for re-election in 1965 but was beaten by Ferdinand Marcos, during whose incumbency he was elected president of the Constitutional Convention which drafted the 1973 Constitution, succeeding another former president Carlos Garcia who died on June 14, 1971.
June to September, 1998
The dry spell begins in June, its effects continuing to be felt through September 1998 in 16 regions, while ther country is enjoying a continuous four-year growth; damage to agriculture amounting to P9.46 billion.
June 12, 1998
Independence Day, also known as Araw ng Kalayaan, or Day of Freedom, marks the Philippine Declaration of Independence from Spain on June 12, 1898. Since 1962, it has been the country’s National Day.
The day of celebration of independence has varied throughout the nation’s history. The earliest recorded was on April 12, 1895, when Andres Bonifacio, along with Emilio Jacinto, Restituto Javier, Guillermo masangkay, Aurelio Tolentino, Faustino Manalak, Pedro Zabala and few other Katipuneros went to Pamitinan Cave in Montalban, Rizal to initiate new members of the Katipunan.
August 3, 1999
A massive landslide, caused by approaching typhoon Olga, occurs in Cherry Hills subdivision in Antipolo, Rizal, resulting in 60 people dead and 378 houses buried. The subdivision became a death trap when its foundation was filled with water and the whole complex slid down the hill on which it was built.
Two Philippine Presidents in succession had the tide of popularity turn against them, and both their administrations were rocked by scandals that were widely reported on media. From November 13 to January 17, 2001 President Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada underwent an impeachment trial in an anti-graft court, on accusations that he was the recipient of large sums of “jueteng” money. After the trial was aborted, people took to the streets to protest in what was called EDSA Dos, from January 17 to 20, 2001. The movement overthrew the government of Estrada and the thirteenth President of the Philippines was succeeded by his Vice-President, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who was sworn into office by then-Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr. on January 20, 2001.
After finishing the term of ousted President Erap, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ran in the 2004 national elections, and won. However, there were allegations of cheating, particularly when audio recordings of her in a conversation with then Election Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano, allegedly talking about the rigging of the 2004 national election results, were released to the public by media. The “Hello Garci” tapes led the way for the President to make a public apology on television, where she uttered the infamous line “I am sorry.”
Arroyo and her husband had already been implicated by Jun Lozada in a graft case called the ZTE scandal, involving a $329-million National Broadband Network (NBN) deal with Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE. As if her political career was not rocked sufficiently enough, a plunder case was filed against her at the Sandiganbayan for misuse of P366 million in Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) intelligence funds from 2008 to 2010. The former President, who spent her time at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center and was usually pictured in a neck brace and wheelchair because of failing health, has since been acquitted by the Supreme Court and is now attending Congressional hearings as a Deputy Speaker.
October 4, 2000
Luis “Chavit” Singson, one of President Joseph “Erap” Estrada’s closest friends, exposes the latter’s alleged links to illegal gambling. This is followed by a privilege speech in the Senate by Sen. Teofisto Guingona, who delivers the now known “I accuse” speech.
December 30, 2000
A series of bombings – now known as the Rizal Day bombings – occurs in close succession within a span of a few hours in Metro Manila, with 22 fatalities and around 100 more suffering non-fatal injuries.
Jan 17 to 20, 2001
The Second Edsa Revolution, a four-day political protest, peacefully overthrows the government of Joseph Estrada, the 13th President. He is succeeded by Vice President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and sworn into office by Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr. at noon on Jan. 20.
May 27, 2001
Members of the bandit gang Abu Sayyaf seizes 20 hostages from the Dos Palmas, an affluent resort located on a private island in Palawan’s Honday Bay. The hostages include two American citizens Guillermo Sobero and Martin Burnham. At least 22 Filipino soldiers are killed in attempts to arrest the captors and free the hostages in the 12 months following the initial hostage taking. An unknown number of captors are later killed by government forces.
September 11, 2001
Four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda on the United States kill 2,996 people, injure 6,000 others and cause at least $10 billion in property and infrastructure damage and $3 trillion in total costs.
On that day, 19 members of the al-Qaeda hijacked four airliners and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. Two of the planes slam into the towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, a third plane hits the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashes in a field in Pennsylvania. Over 3,000 people were killed during the attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., including more than 400 police officers and firefighters.
February 26, 2002
Deposed President Joseph Estrada admits having signed “the Jose Velarde” secret account of P500 million in Equitable-PCI Bank. But Estrada insists he merely signed as guarantor of a loan being secured from the bank by one of his businessmen friends, plastics king William Gatchalian.
October 4, 2003
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo declared in December 2002 she would not contest the May 2004 presidential election. But today she reverses and decides to run.
November 20, 2003
Pedro Yap, who briefly served for two and a half months as Chief Justice, from April 19, 1988 to June 30, 1988, dies.
May 10, 2004
In the presidential election, incumbent President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo wins a full six-year term, with a margin of just over one million votes over her leading opponent, highly popular movie actor Fernando Poe, Jr. The 3.48-percent margin of victory is the closest in Philippine presidential election history. This is the first time she is elected to the office. She initially became president in 2001 after Estrada was ousted not through an election.
June 5, 2004
Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, dies after having suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for nearly a decade.
October 13, 2004
Enrique Fernando, the 13th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, dies after serving in the Supreme Court for 18 years, including six years as Chief Justice.
December 14, 2004
Ronald Allan Kelley Poe, known as Fernando Poe, Jr. and colloquially known as FPJ and Da King, dies. His long career as an action film star earned him the nickname “King of Philippine Movies” (often shortened to Da King).
February 14, 2005
Three separate but successive explosions occur in busy cities of Makati, Davao and General Santos. Also known as the Philippines’s mini-9/11 – a reference to the US attacks by terrorists – because of sequential nature of the attacks, the Valentine’s Day bombings coincide with the birthday of Kris Aquino, a movie actress and the youngest sister of President Benigno Aquino III.
The Makati City blast results in the death of four persons and wounding of 60 others. The Davao City and Davao City bombings, on the other hand, cause the death of another four persons and injury of at least 30 others.
Only 30 minutes after the Makati City bombing, the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) through its spokesperson, Abu Sulaiman, claims responsibility for these attacks as “Valentines gifts” to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The ASG also regards the three bombings as retaliations “to continued government atrocities” against Muslims in the Southern Philippines.
June 6, 2005
The Hello Garci scandal (or just Hello Garci), also known as Gloriagate, is described as a political scandal and electoral crisis involving President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who allegedly rigged the national election in her favor. The official results gave Arroyo and TV news reader Noli de Castro the presidency and vice-presidency, respectively.
January 12, 2006
A stampede during the Stoning of the Devil ritual on the last day of the Hajj in Mina, Saudi Arabia kills 362 pilgrims.
February 3, 2006
Egyptian passenger ferry MS al-Salam Boccaccio 98 carrying more than 1,400 people sinks in the Red Sea off the Saudi coast, with only 388 rescued.
February 17, 2006
A massive rock slide-debris avalanche occurs in Guinsaugon, Southern Leyte, causing widespread damage and 1,126 deaths after a 10-day period of heavy rain and 2.6 magnitude earthquake.
(February 10, 2006-February 9, 2017)
The Maguindanao massacre, also known as the Ampatuan massacre after the town where the mass graves were found, occurred on the morning of November 23, 2009, in the town of Ampatuan in Maguindanao province, Mindanao. The 58 victims were on their way to file a certificate of candidacy for Esmael Mangudadatu for the gubernatioral elections of 2010, when they were waylaid and killed. Among those killed by an estimated 100 gunmen were Mangudadatu’s wife, his two sisters, their aides, lawyers and the journalists who were covering the event.
Overseas, the US elected its first African American President. In November 4, 2008, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois was elected president of the United States over Senator John McCain of Arizona. Obama was sworn in as the 44th president and was subsequently elected to a second term. Polls indicated that he enjoyed high approval ratings until he stepped down to pave the way for Donald Trump.
September 19, 2006
The Royal Thai Army overthrows the government of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in a coup d’etat.
October 13, 2006
South Korean Ban Ki-moon is elected as the new Secretary General of the United Nations.
November 5, 2006
Former President of Iraq Saddam Hussein is sentenced to death by hanging by the Iraqi Special Tribunal.
November 23, 2006
A series of car bombs and mortar attacks in Sadr City, Baghdad kill at least 215 people and injure 257 others.
November 30: Typhoon Durian triggers a massive mudslide and kills at least 720 people in Albay.
December 30, 2006
Former Iraq President Saddam Hussein is hanged, after being convicted of crimes against humanity by the Iraqi Special Tribunal for the murder of 148 Iraqi Shi’ites in the town of Dujail in 1982, in retaliation for an assassination attempt against him. He was 69.
January 13, 2007
The 12th Asean Summit is held in Mandaue City in Cebu.
April 15, 2007
Manny Pacquiao knocks out Mexican Jorge Solis on the eighth round to retain the WBC International Superfeatherweight championship at the Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas.
May 14, 2007
Synchronized national and local elections are held.
July 11, 2007
Fourteen members of the Philippine Marines are found beheaded after an encounter against Islamic rebels in Basilan.
August 28, 2007
Exiled Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Maria Sison is arrested in Utrecht, Netherlands.
September 12, 2007
The Sandiganbayan convicts former President Joseph Estrada for plunder and sentences him to reclusion perpetua while acquitting him and his co-accused on other charges.
October 6, 2007
Manny Pacquiao defeats Mexican Marco Antonio Barrera via unanimous decision at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas to retain the WBC international super featherweight title.
October 19, 2007
An explosion at Glorietta mall in Makati City kills 11 and injures at least 100.
October 26, 2007
Former President Joseph Estrada is pardoned and freed from jail after his trial.
November 29, 2007
The Armed Forces lays siege to The Peninsula Manila after soldiers stage a mutiny.
December 27, 2007
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto is assassinated, along with 20 other people, at an election rally in Rawalpindi.
February 4 and 5, 2008
The House of Representatives votes to replace Speaker Jose de Venecia with Prospero Nograles. Shortly after his removal, de Venecia criticizes the administration of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and tells media he is joining the political opposition.
March 6, 2008
Several members of Congress call for an investigation into a 2004 joint oil exploration agreement between the Philippines, China and Vietnam over the disputed Spratly islands, claiming the agreement is unconstitutional and infringes on national sovereignty.
March 11, 2008
A Manila trial court acquits former First Lady Imelda Marcos of 32 counts of illegal money transfers.
March 17, 2008
The Supreme Court of the United States hears oral arguments on a certiorari petition filed by the Philippine governmentr, which invokes sovereign immunity in connection with the enforcement of an American civil judgment against the estate of of former President Ferdinand Marcos in favor of 9,500 human rights victims.
March 24, 2008
The family of Corazon Aquino announces that the former President is suffering from colon cancer.
April 8, 2008
Police seize hundreds of bomb components in Alaminos, Laguna, following a raid that targeted a Filipino with alleged links to Jemaah Islamiyah. In the capital, nine military officers receive prison sentences from a Makati City trial court for their role in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny.
April 27, 2008
The Taliban fails in an attempt to assassinate Afghan President Hamid Karzai in a military parade in Kabul.
April 28: India sets a world record by sending 10 satellites into orbit in a single launch.
August 25, 2008
Peace talks between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front collapse after the Supreme Court declares the memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain is unconstitutional.
November 4, 2008
Democrat US Senator Barack Obama is elected the 44th President of the United States and becomes the first African-American President-elect.
December 6, 2008
Manny Pacquiao defeats Oscar De La Hoya after eight rounds in a fight billed The Dream Match. When the Mexican-American could not answer the bell for the ninth round, the fight was officially declared a technical knockout.
August 1, 2009
Former President Corazon Aquino dies of cardiorespiratory arrest due to complications caused by colorectal cancer. Over a million people, by police estimate, attend her wake at the Manila Cathedral and the 21.5-km funeral procession from there to the Manila Memorial Park in Sucat, Parañaque.
September 26, 2009
Typhoon “Ondoy” (international name “Ketsana”) hits the Philippines and becomes the second most devastating tropical cyclone in the 2009 Pacific typhoon season with a damage of $1.09 billion and 747 fatalities, only behind “Morakot” earlier in the season, which left 789 deaths and damage worth $6.2 billion. It is the most devastating typhoon to hit the Philippines, surpassing Typhoon “Yoling” (international name “Patsy”) in 1970.
November 23, 2009
The Maguindanao massacre, also known as the Ampatuan massacre, leaves 58 victims on their way to file a Certificate of Candidacy for Esmael Mangudadatu, vice mayor of Buluan town. Gunmen kill the victims including Mangudadatu’s wife, his two sisters, journalists, lawyers, aides, and motorists who are witnesses or are mistakenly identified as part of the convoy.
December 4, 2009
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo places Maguindanao under a state of martial law. (She lifts the state of emergency after eight days.)
January 5, 2010
Senator Panfilo Lacson leaves the Philippines, shortly before charges against him are filed. Lacson was tagged as the alleged mastermind in the murder of public relations practitioner Bubby Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito as claimed by former policeman Cesar Mancao.
January 12, 2010
A 7.0-magnitude earthquake occurs in Haiti, devastating the capital Port-au-Prince. With a confirmed death toll of over 316,000, it is the seventh deadliest on record.
June 30, 2010
Benigno S. Aquino III is inaugurated as the 15th President of the Philippines at the Quirino Grandstand, taking his oath before Supreme Court Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales at the Quirino Grandstand.
President Benigno Aquino III, son of the late former President Corazon Aquino was elected to two terms in office from 2010 to 2016. His administration was rocked by news reports about issues such as the laglag-bala scam at the airports and the Fallen 44 SAF of the Mamasapano clash.
August 23, 2010
Hostage-taking incident at the Quirino Grandstand, which strains relations between Manila and Hong Kong.
September 26, 2010
An explosion rocks the De La Salle University in Manila during the last day of the 2010 bar exams.
December 14, 2010
Hubert Webb and six others convicted in the Vizconde massacre case are acquitted by the Supreme Court, based primarilyl on inconsistent testimonies of witness Jessica Alfaro during the trial.
December 20, 2010
After seven years in detention, Antonio Trillanes is released from jail.
December 21, 2010
The first total lunar eclipse to occur on the day of the Northern winter solstice and Southern summer solstice since 1638 takes place.
November 8, 2013
Typhoon Haiyan, locally known as Yolanda, one of the most intense tropical cyclones on record, devastated portions of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines. It is the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record, killing at least 6,300 people and leaving half a million homeless. The provinces of Samar and Leyte were the most affected,
January 17, 2015
Pope Francis was moved to tears after holding a special Mass at the Tacloban airport for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. The Pope made a special trip to the disaster site during the here-day Papal Visit.
November 18 to 19, 2015
President Obama was one of the heads of state who visited the Philippines during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit held on November 2015. Trade and economic issues were discussed at the annual meeting, along with building concerted efforts to fight terrorism. Media covered the highlights and sidelights, informing the public of roads that were closed to make way for the delegates, and the popularity of charming world leaders Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and Mexican President Enrique Nieto.
December 20, 2015
After a 42-year drought, Filipina beauty Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach was proclaimed Miss Universe in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event caused quite a stir on international news when host Steve Harvey mistakenly awarded the Miss Universe title to Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez. He immediately reversed his announcement however and gave the title and the crown to Wurtzbach. The gaffe, which only served to show off Pia’s graciousness and good humor has helped made her into a global celebrity.
Former Mayor and now President Rodrigo Duterte won the Philippine presidential elections by an overwhelming lead. Duterte’s administration is labeled considered populist, in contrast to Aquino’s purportedly elitist government. The headlines that have reached foreign shores about President Duterte’s administration are about the EJKs or Extra Judicial Killings in connection with the Chief Executive’s war on drugs.
The media has been under fire recently, with accusations of bias and partisanship seeking to undermine or discredit the Fourth Estate. In contrast, the 2015 report of international organization Freedom House has declared to only be “partly free.” What can be seen here is that despite obstacles, journalists have not stopped delving into issues that matter, bringing them to light, with tireless fact-gathering and balanced reporting.