The Street Violence In The Philippines’ Drug War

Rosemarie Monterey, inconsolable and cries upon learning the death of her son Aaron Joseph Paular, a suspected drug pusher killed during a buy-bust operation in Sta. Mesa Manila, August 3, 2016.

 

Photojournalist and Documentary Photographer Linus Escandor II is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this social documentary photography.  From his project ‘Philippines War on Drugs‘. To see Linus’ body of work click on any photograph.

 

Crowd of onlookers gather near the coroner’s van to identify if any of the killed pushers are their next of kin in Bamba Compound, Caloocan City, December 27, 2016

 

Two alleged drug pushers were killed after a buy-bust operation in the Tondo District of Manila on July 21. One victim was an ex-cop who allegedly fired first at the arresting officers.

 

The body of an armed suspect lies in the street after a shootout with police in Manila on August 11, 2016.

 

Coroners prepare to carry the lifeless body of a drug suspect killed by unknown assailants in Pasay City, September 15, 2016.

 

A law enforcement official shows the bullets and a handgun found at a crime scene in Manila.

 

Rodrigo Roa Duterte became president of the Philippines on June 30, 2016. Come election day, 16 million gave him their votes. In return, he gave them his word.  He vowed to become “The Punisher” of criminals, drug lords, pushers and addicts. He promised to wipe out criminality within three to six months and as a result of this promise to the Filipinos, bodies of suspected drug criminals have been piling up.

 

"...also prodded the Philippine National Police to cleanse its own ranks..."

 

When Duterte ran, he promised change. He replicated his accomplishments in Davao, a city in southern Philippines known for safe streets.  The President’s intensified campaign against illegal drugs also prodded the Philippine National Police to cleanse its own ranks as the Chief Executive disclosed the names of incumbent officials who were alleged protectors of drug lords.

 

"...killers wrap their victims heads with brown packaging tapes before dumping them on the streets for everyone to see."

 

Death in these photographs came in many faces: suspects shot in the head; man dumped under the bridge, druggies killed on railroad tracks, and a boy shot dead beside his father.  Some corpses have been deprived of their faces. To further shock the public, killers wrap their victims heads with brown packaging tapes before dumping them on the streets for everyone to see. And to further humiliate the victims, card boards that bore the words ‘I’m a pusher, don’t be like me’ or ‘I’m a drug addict’ were thrown beside their bodies.​

 

Inmates sleep outside their cell at the Quezon City jail, Philippines. The inmates inside the jail still take turns in sleeping on the cement floor of a basketball court.

 

A wife of suspected drug pusher killed sits inside a coroner’s van.

 

Scene of the Crime Operatives conduct an investigation at the site of the crime scene where an alleged drug pusher was killed during a police operation in Navotas City.

 

Funeral workers pushed the coffin of Arjay Suldao 16, inside the apartment type tomb as family members mourn during his funeral at the Navotas Cemetery by the sea on Tuesday March 28, 2017. On March 22 he was found kneeling position on the ground, hands tied behind his back and his head slumped down in Bangkulasi.

 

​Majority of Filipinos believe and trust President Rodrigo Roa Duterte despite the controversies thrown at his administration.

 

See also:

Fighting for their Homes

By Linus Escandor II

 

 

 

 

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