A journalist of over a decade, Popioco currently works as an independent journalist and writes/wrote for Australian publications, The Canberra Times and The Interpreter. Before moving to Australia, he worked as a correspondent and substitute anchor for CNN Philippines. He extensively documented the transportation and infrastructure projects of the Duterte government’s flagship Build Build Build program linked with China’s Belt and Road Initiative. He also covered politics and security in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. Among his notable coverage: President Xi Jinping’s 2018 State Visit to Manila; 2017 ASEAN Summit (assigned to Japanese PM Shinzo Abe); 2016 Sulu armed conflict; and Duterte’s bloody war on drugs (reporter tasked to follow the high-profile case of Kian Delos Santos).
Popioco was the host of 2019 CNN Philippines Presents: EDSA Traffic and also co-presented 2016 CNN PH Presents War On Drugs (Best Documentary winner at the KBP Awards) and 2018 Banta ng Mayon (The Threat of Mayon). In 2019, he began anchoring for the hourly news bulletins and the Newsroom Weekend, the network’s weekend primetime newscasts, until he left the local CNN channel in early 2020.
Popioco was awarded two Global Road Safety Fellowships (2018 and 2020) by the International Center for Journalists and the World Health Organization. He was handpicked to moderate a high-level panel discussion during the 2020 Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Stockholm, Sweden.
Popioco’s community organizing, which he started shortly after Yolanda in 2013, earned him the Hurford Youth Fellowship of the World Movement for Democracy. He worked for nearly half a year at the National Endowment for Democracy headquarters in Washington DC in 2015.
Popioco holds a Master of National Security Policy (Australia Awards Scholarships) from the Australian National University.