Palawan island in the Philippines has emerged as a battlefield for a tiny network of environmental crusaders and vigilantes who are trying to protect its spectacular natural resources, powder-white beaches, and lush forests, which have made it one of Asia’s hot new tourist destinations.
They are also the subject of a new feature-length documentary “Delikado” from director Karl Malakunas who pressed ahead with its production after one of the vigilantes was shot dead in 2011.
“Delikado” follows Bobby, Tata, and Nieves as they risk their lives in trying to stop politicians and businessmen from destroying what is perhaps the Philippines’ last ecological frontier.
The documentary also exposes how outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte’s notorious “war on drugs” has been used as a political tool to control the levers of economic and political power while claiming thousands of lives. Malakunas spoke with Luke Hunt.