Bodies have been turning up in cities all over the Philippines ever since the country’s president, Rodrigo Duterte, launched his controversial war on drugs this year — so many that one local newspaper had to create a “Kill List” just to keep track.
Dealers and addicts are being shot by police or slain by unidentified gunmen in mysterious, gangland-style murders taking place at night. Their bodies dumped on highways in the rain, curled in pools of blood in the slums. Some were found tied up, with masking tape plastered across their faces. Some were draped with cardboard signs that warned, “I’m a pusher. Don’t Be Like Me.”
“When I become president, I’ll order the police and the military to find these people and kill them. The funeral parlors will be packed.”
— Duterte at a rally in the northern city of Lingayen, detailing plans to fight the drug trade, March 15.
Warning: Some graphic images of injury or death follow.
Here, policemen check the gun recovered from one of two unidentified drug suspects after they were shot dead by police for reportedly trying to evade a checkpoint in Quezon city, September 6, 2016.