While news of giant clam poaching in the disputed Scarborough Shoal drew massive online outrage, it is far from the first wildlife exploitation story in our history. One serious challenge for local law enforcement in these cases has always been visually confirming the presence of our endemic species when specimens have been skinned, ground or similarly processed for the black market.

Luckily a team led by the UP Institute of Biology’s Ian Kendrich Fontanilla and the late Dean Perry Ong have locally pioneered a system called DNA barcoding, which utilizes the molecular fingerprint of genes to assist both scholarship and law enforcement in these tricky cases.

With just a few days to go before voters troop to the polling stations for the 2019 midterm elections, several units of the University of the Philippines are busy publishing insights, fact check pieces and other materials aimed at aiding voters in their choice of candidates for the different positions in government.

Spearheaded by three UP units, Tsek.ph, a collaborative fact-checking project, is launched to establish an online repository of fact-checking for the May 2019 elections.