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Patricia Evangelista's 'Some People Need Killing' among Barack Obama's favorite books for 2023

By Brooke Villanueva Published Dec 24, 2023 10:27 am

Pinoy journalist Patricia Evangelista's debut nonfiction book on the Duterte drug war is among former US president Barack Obama's favorite books this year.

Obama shared his 2023 book picks in a tweet on X, describing them as the ones he "enjoyed reading."

"If you’re looking for a new book over the holidays, give one of them a try. And if you can, shop at an independent bookstore or check them out at your local library," he wrote.

Evangelista's Some People Need Killing: A Memoir of Murder in My Country joined The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride, Poverty, By America by Matthew Desmond, This Other Eden by Paul Harding, among others on Obama's list.

In a post on X, Evangelista said she's honored that Obama found her book "worthy of his list of the best of 2023."

"Humbled to be in the company of these astounding authors and works. Thank you so much," she added.

The Filipino reporter's book also made it to The New York Times' 10 best books of the year as well as Times’ 100 notable books of 2023.

In Some People Need Killing, Evangelista recalls how she covered the extrajudicial killings under former president Rodrigo Duterte from 2016 to 2022. She also details how the bloody war on drugs affected her well-being as a journalist and as a person.

The Duterte administration’s bloody war on drugs or Oplan Tokhang saw the execution of thousands of suspected drug peddlers, users, and small-time criminals.

Based on the government's "Real Numbers" data, a total of 6,229 individuals were killed during anti-drug operations from July 1, 2016, to Jan. 31, 2022.

Rights groups, however, estimated that the number of deaths from the bloody anti-narcotics campaign reached as high as 27,000.