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Manila: Death in the dark (Part I)
This is the first of a two-part gallery on the war on drugs in the Philippines. In 2016, Rodrigo Roa Duterte promised to wage a bloody war on drugs, and true to his word when he became president it was indeed bloody. Leah was a mother of six who got involved in illegal drugs. She was a small-time "runner." On the early hours of June 6, while doing laundry along the street outside their home, two men on a motorcycle casually drove up to Leah and shot her in the head. Bobby, Leah's partner rushed her to the hospital where she was declared "dead on arrival." Bobby was a part-time electrician, but with Leah gone, he says that life will be a daunting task. How can he take care of six children by himself with their youngest just 10 years old. "I will just leave it to God to pass judgement to whoever was responsible for Leah's death because it is impossible for the poor to have justice," he said. The once influential Catholic Church in the predominantly Catholic nation is at a crossroad on how to deal with the huge number of deaths in the country. There is little public outcry and President Duterte still remains very popular with a high satisfaction rating, according to recent surveys. There have been more than 12,000 deaths since July 2016 to April of this year, according to data released by the National Police on May 2. These deaths have been attributed to the killings to vigilante groups or classified as DUI (Deaths Under Investigation) with thousands of them being unresolved cases. (Photos and text by Vincent Go)
Jun 21, 2017

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