The Drug Policy Reform Initiative (DPRI), a network of advocates advancing humane drug policies in the country, is delighted to announce its first batch of Media Fellows for Humane Drug Policy 2023.

Nineteen (19) journalists will undergo training in covering issues surrounding drugs, drug use, drug policies, and related issues with the aim of putting an end to stigma and harm for people whose lives include drugs. The media fellows, chosen from a large pool of nationwide applications, are the following:

1. Karlston Lapniten Multimedia Journalist Philippine Daily Inquirer, Cordillera Administrative Region

2. Liana Apostol Freelance Journalist Metro Manila and Pampanga

3. Carmela Reyes-Estrope News Correspondent, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Bulacan, Editor-in-Chief, News Core, Bulacan

4. Mike Navallo Reporter ABS-CBN News, Metro Manila

5. Marc Jayson Cayabyab Print Reporter Philippine Star, Metro Manila

6. Jacob Lazaro Reporter Philippine Daily Inquirer, Metro Manila

7. Paul Icamina Reporter Malaya Business Insight, Metro Manila

8. Noel Talacay Reporter  PTV4, Metro Manila

9. Faith Argosino Multimedia Reporter INQUIRER.net, Metro Manila

10. Rambo Talabong Freelance Journalist, Metro Manila

11. Kaycee Valmonte Reporter Philstar Online, Metro Manila

12. Ghio Ong Reporter The Philippine Star, Metro Manila

13. Totel De Jesus Freelance Writer/Editor, Metro Manila

14. Jinky Lou Tabor News Stringer, GMA 7 Bicol Region and Basilan Station Manager, Bicol Star Teleradyo, Catanduanes

15. Joseph Bernard A. Marzan Senior Reporter Daily Guardian, Western Visayas Region

16. June Joseph Perez News Anchor Sibya TV, Cebu

17. Angelica Saniel News Editor MyTV Cebu, Region 7

18. Nef Luczon Reporter/Regional Bureau Chief Philippine News Agency, Northern Mindanao

19. Misel Miral-Galve Radio Anchor & Special Projects Head DXDC 621 RMN Davao, Davao City

“The media plays a crucial role in shaping public opinion and policy,” said Atty. Kristine Mendoza, DPRI’s lead convener. “This fellowship is a continuing conversation with the Fourth Estate to uphold journalistic integrity and ethics in ensuring that their reporting does no harm to people whose lives include drugs and instead empowers communities by amplifying their stories,” she added.

Their training will commence on April 20. They will also undergo coaching sessions with their fellow journalists, drug policy experts, and advocates until May 2023. A seed grant will also be made available for data-gathering and publishing of their respective work.