00:00 TEXT: The following video contains graphic images that some viewers may find disturbing
00:06 TEXT and SPEECH: “Hitler massacred three million Jews, now there are three million drug addicts. I’d be happy to slaughter them.” Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Philippines
00:26 TEXT: NANLABAN
00:32 TEXT: A Tagalog phrase meaning “resisted arrest”, commonly used by Filipino police to justify the killing of drug suspects.
01:00 TEXT: Manila, Philippines
01:18 ALAN HAYAWAN: When you saw a dead person, you feel what has been done to him, the pain. Especially when I see his family. I feel their pain.
01:47 GRACE DELA ROSA: Before, our life was beautiful, everything was in order, we were happy and financially secure. But because of illegal drugs, my husband sold our house, got a mistress and was fired from his job. Because when they say you are connected with drugs it signifies you are a bad person. That’s why it’s hard.
02:29 MARIA MISA DE PIRINI: Because of poverty, many people don’t have jobs. It leaves them without a choice but to sell drugs so that they can feed their families. If they don’t sell drugs, their family will have nothing to eat.
02:51 TEXT: Gunmen suspected of being police officers abducted and killed Maria’s sons only weeks apart
03:01 TEXT: Her sons are two in thousands killed so far in President Duerte’s deadly crackdown on drugs in the Philippines
03:11 TEXT: The killings by police and vigilantes have received growing support from many in the Philippines
03:19 TEXT: This support has allowed drug suspects to be killed with relative impunity
03:28 MARIA MISA DE PIRINI: A man wearing a mask searched his friend’s house. They found drug paraphernalia on them. They took my son and I pleaded for mercy. I’m shouting saying, “Sir please give my son back to me, he did nothing wrong.” Then he said: “Don’t worry, Mother, we will return him to you.” Then we went to the police department. A policeman told us to go to a place where there are two people who are almost dead. When we arrived he’d died already. When Aljon died, I told Danilo to hide. Men wearing masks took him. The guy who owns the house where Danilo slept is a drug pusher. They made him suffer. They took him to the village and beat him up. Around one in the morning they killed him.
05:16 NEWS FOOTAGE
05:28 GRACE DELA ROSA: I waited until midnight for [my husband] to come home. I was shocked when my mom woke me up. She told me that it’s my husband. Then she showed me the news video. The kids and I got separated because of the life that he chose. Now that he’s dead, a lot has changed financially. I’m no longer living with the kids, we don’t have a house, everything is gone. He made a choice but we are the ones left to suffer.
06:20 MARIA MISA DE PIRINI: I can’t afford to bury Aljon. Since it costs Php 55,000 (US $1,100). I don’t know where to get the money. It’s the same with Danilo - I can’t get his body. I don’t know where to get the Php 100,000 (US $2,000).
06:43 ORLY: What I can offer you, is a complete funeral service amounting to Php 28,000. You’re in charge with the cemetery then I’ll be the one who will arrange the documents needed.
07:05 ORLY: Most of them are very poor. I usually come along to fetch the bodies so I can assess the financial capability of the family. Whether they can pay the Php 28,000 or they can afford the Php 50,000.
07:34 MARIA MISA DE PIRINI: When I went to Eusebio funeral parlor earlier, I told them that I don’t have money to get my son’s body, because his brother’s wake is still ongoing. I wanted to ask them if my son could be included in the mass burial for unclaimed bodies. I really don’t have the money to pay for his funeral.
08:38 ALAN HAYAWAN: I’ve been working as a body collector for three months at Eusebio funeral parlor. You can see it on their faces. Some of them look like they wouldn’t be able to change. Others look like newbies. For those who are new [to drugs], you can’t help but think that they have wasted their future. I voted for Duterte because he’s anti-drugs. Of course you pity them, but some of them are hard-headed. They were warned but they didn’t listen. I support the anti-drug campaign because I have sisters. Now they are free to go out at night without the fear that something bad will happen to them. My wife and I voted for Duterte because he said: “Change is coming.” I believe in what he said.
10:26 MARIA MISA DE PIRINI: : The only thing I want is that no one will experience the fate of my sons: Innocent people getting killed.
10:41 GRACE DELA ROSA: At six every evening I light a candle for him. In my dreams he’s crying. He keeps on crying. With every father killed, the number of poor people increases. Their children lose direction in life. Everyone commits sins. We all have our weaknesses. Maybe my husband had a reason why he did it, but they shouldn't have killed him.
11:44 TEXT: From June 2016 to February 2017 over 7000 drug users and dealers were killed by police and vigilante killers
11:51 TEXT: At the height of the drug war this equated to nearly 40 drug suspects killed per day
DIRECTED AND SHOT BY SHAUN SWINGLER
MOTION GRAPHICS AND MUSIC BY BERNARD KOTZE
EDITED BY SHAUN SWINGLER AND BERNARD KOTZE
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER DIANA NEILLE
FIXER AND TRANSLATOR GUILL RAMOS
DRIVER RODNEY RAMOS
SPECIAL THANKS JEFF CANOY
NEWS VIDEO FOOTAGE COURTESY OF GMA NETWORK INC
EUSEBIO and MARIA: Good morning,what we will talk about?
EUSEBIO and MARIA: Same what we talked about yesternight, I’ll just finish my first son before I get the other one.
Gunmen suspected of being police officers abducted and killed Maria’s son’s only weeks apart.
Her sons are two in thousands killed so far in President Duterte’s deadly crackdown on drugs in the Philippines.
Since June 2016, over 6,000 drug users and dealers have been killed by police and vigilante killers. And the numbers are steadily rising with growing support from the Philippines population.
DUTERTE QUOTE (not stopping, making country safer) ““Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now, there are three million drug addicts… I'd be happy to slaughter them …”
This support has allowed police to kill drug suspects with relative impunity.
Those not killed by the state are sent to overflowing drug rehabilitation centres and jails across the country. Many jails are struggling to cope with the demand.
MARIA: A man wearing a mask searched his friend’s house. They were able to get drug paraphernalias from them. They took my son. I plead for mercy.
MARIA: I’m shouting saying, “Sir please give my son back to me, he don’t have any sin” ... Then he said: Don’t worry Mother, we will return him to you. After that we went to a police department. A policeman advised us to go to a place where there are two people who are almost dead. When we arrived in the area, he’s dead already.
MARIA: When [Aljon] died, I told [Danilo] to hide.
MARIA: The one who took them are guys wearing masks. The guy who owns the house where he slept is a drug pusher. He didn’t know that will happen on that day. I’m also not in our house that’s why he slept in another house.
MARIA: They took him and made him suffer.They brought him in the barangay (village) and beat him up. Around 1am,they killed him.
GRACE: The kids and I got separated because of the life that he chose. Now that he died, a lot has changed financially, I’m no longer living with the kids, we don’t have a house, everything’s gone.
It’s hard because the kids started to rebel. They are not used to a poor life.
We had a different life back when my husband was on the right path.
MARIA: I’m asking for help to be able to bury Aljon. I can’t afford to bury him since the cost is Php55,000 and I don’t know where to get the P55,000. Then Danilo also. I can’t get his body. I don’t know where to get the Php100,000.
EUSEBIO and MARIA: What I can offer you is a complete funeral service amounting to Php28,000. You’re in charge with the cemetery then I’ll be the one who will arrange the documents needed in the cemetery.
EUSEBIO: Most of them are very poor as I’ve seen. I usually come along to fetch the bodies so I can assess the financial capability of the family. Whether they can pay the Php28,000 or they can afford Php50,000.
MARIA: I went to Eusebio funeral parlor earlier, I asked where they placed my son. I told them that I don’t have money to get my son’s body because his brother’s wake is still ongoing … I wanted to ask them if my son could be included in the mass burial for unclaimed bodies. I really don’t have the money to pay for his funeral.
DANILO DEAD BODY
ALAN: I support the anti-drug campaign because I have sisters. They are now free to go out at night without the fear that something bad will happen to them.
MARIA: That’s the only thing I want,that no one will experience the fate of my sons---innocent people getting killed.
GRACE: Everysix in the evening, I lit candles.
GRACE: He visits me in his dream. He’s crying, he’s always crying.
GRACE: Everyone has committed sins. We all have our waterloos. Maybe my husband had a reason for what he did, but maybe they shouldn’t have killed him. Because if here were in prison,there’d maybe still be a future. Especially for the kids.
Stop the killings. Every father that’s killed increases the number of poor
people. Their children lose direction in life
ALAN: Of course you will feel pity. You’ll pity them. But some of them are hard-headed. They were already warned but they don’t follow.
MARIA: I regret that I voted for President Duterte. Because of the bad thing he did to the nation. He implicated innocent people. I hope that he will realize it and he will not repeat what happened to my sons.
ALAN: I voted for Duterte. My wife voted for him also. It’s because he said that change is coming. I believe in what he said.