Marites Dañguilan Vitug

Marites is one of the Philippines' most seasoned journalists. For close to a decade, Vitug—a Nieman fellow—edited Newsbreak magazine, a trailblazer in Philippine investigative journalism. Her recent book, "Shadow of Doubt: Probing the Supreme Court," which exposed critical weaknesses in the country's highest court, has become a bestseller.

She's currently fighting 2 libel suits filed against her by a sitting justice of the Supreme Court, Presbitero Velasco Jr.

Marites has won a number of awards including the Philippine National Book Award in journalism for her pioneering book, "Power from the Forest: the Politics of Logging," and "Under the Crescent Moon: Rebellion in Mindanao" with Glenda M. Gloria. She was given the Courage in Journalism Award by the US-based International Women's Media Foundation for her exposes on the plunder of Palawan's forests. She is also the author, with Criselda Yabes, of Jalan Jalan: A Journey through EAGA. Asiaweek chose the book as one of the best books on Asia in 1999.

She heads the Journalism for Nation Building Foundation, a spin off of Newsbreak. The Foundation will continue to do public interest journalism mainly through books and special reports.

Jun 2020
THOUGHT LEADERS 12:00pm, Jun 29, 2020
[ANALYSIS] Duterte fails in coronavirus crisis leadership

On February 14, 2 weeks after the Philippines saw the first coronavirus death outside China, President Duterte encouraged Filipinos to travel with him around the country, assuring them that ...

May 2020
THOUGHT LEADERS 08:00am, May 03, 2020
[ANALYSIS] Duterte crushes free expression amid pandemic

We commemorate World Press Freedom Day in a vastly different context, amid a universal experience that is setting limits to mobility and privacy. But in some countries, the limits are crushing a ...

Mar 2020
THOUGHT LEADERS 06:00pm, Mar 27, 2020
[ANALYSIS] Coronavirus lessons from Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam

After South Korea captured the world’s attention at the recent Oscars, making history as its film, Parasite, became the first foreign language winner of best picture, this East Asian country is once ...

THOUGHT LEADERS 01:57pm, Mar 03, 2020
[OPINION] The paradox of Japan

After boarding a taxi at Haneda airport and showing the driver the hotel name and address in Japanese characters, he asked me, “Is temperature okay?” At first, I thought he meant “Do you have a ...

Dec 2019
THOUGHT LEADERS 02:00pm, Dec 07, 2019
On my bookshelf, China and dictators steal the spotlight

When my editor asked me to write about books on any of these subjects – security, foreign policy, and governance – as part of a package of year-end stories, I went over my groaning bookshelf and ...

THOUGHT LEADERS 10:00am, Dec 04, 2019
[OPINION] The lawless Duterte presidency

AT A GLANCE The erosion of rule of law in the Philippines is a major theme that underpins Rodrigo Duterte’s presidency. The President uses the law as weapon against those he considers his ...

Nov 2019
THOUGHT LEADERS 09:53am, Nov 21, 2019
[ANALYSIS] Will Vietnam take China to court?

In Hanoi, the buzz at the international conference on the South China Sea held first week of November was this: Will Vietnam do a Philippines and take China to court? The interest in this lingering ...

Jul 2019
THOUGHT LEADERS 04:00pm, Jul 11, 2019
[ANALYSIS] Duterte’s weak grasp of the maritime case on South China Sea

Three years after the stunning victory that washed away China’s expansive 9-dash line claim on the South China Sea, President Rodrigo Duterte still needs to grasp the essence of the case decided by ...

Dec 2018
THOUGHT LEADERS 11:00am, Dec 27, 2018
[OPINION] DFA foils oil exploration with China – for now

It’s back to step one for China and its much-awaited joint development of oil and gas with the Philippines. In October, after Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Manila, the Global Times, a subsidiary ...

Aug 2018
THOUGHT LEADERS 11:07am, Aug 09, 2018
[OPINION] We are a maritime nation but...

One of my biggest lessons from writing Rock Solid, a book on our country’s maritime dispute with China, is a basic fact: that the Philippines is one of the top 10 countries in the world with the ...