Sep 5, 2017

It has almost been a month since the death of grade 12 student Kian Delos Santos. There are numerous clashing anecdotes (and hunches) from witnesses, the police, and other people involved that everything must be taken with a grain of salt. The only thing we know is he was murdered ruthlessly.

Launched on Aug. 15 (a day before the death of Delos Santos), the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) Story Project is an initiative that provides grants to journalists who wish to “document or expose abuse, negligence, or wrongdoing” related to criminal justice, public funds, press freedom and ethics, religious, ethnic and sexual minorities, and inequality.

An illustration of the CCTV footage where Kian Delos Santos is seen dragged by two policemen. Courtesy of The PCIJ Story Project

There are no limitations for the output; it can be a video, a photo series, a story treatment, among others. The first project published today is a story book about Kian Delos Santos. Entitled Si Kian, it’s a collaboration between award-winning children’s book author Weng Cahiles and illustrator Aldy C. Aguirre.

With the help of journalist Kimberly Dela Cruz, the story book goes beyond the already exhausted information and gives us glimpses of Delos Santos’ aspirations. The story book shows how he dreamed of becoming a policeman, how he wanted a new bike, and how he missed his OFW mother. Accompanied by whimsical watercolor illustrations, the story book chronicles what is gone and what may be gone if the killings continue.

An illustration of an attendee during the burial of Delos Santos. Courtesy of The PCIJ Story Project

The PCIJ Project for Innovation for Storytelling is a reminder that injustices exist. While this may not be a concrete way to find justice, it’s one vehicle we need to constantly remind ourselves not to forget. Because forgetting is the worst enemy of justice.

All photos courtesy of The PCIJ Story Project. View the full set on Facebook.

Read more:
Voting for Duterte was a mistake
Why Kian’s death is a breaking point for Duterte’s drug war
Even this Spanish children’s book can’t deny the Marcos dictatorship

TAGS: drug war Kian delos santos PCIJ PCIJ Story Project