Pubdate: Mon, 29 Aug 2016
Source: Philippine Star (Philippines)
Copyright: PhilSTAR Daily Inc. 2016


Pedicab driver Reyjin dives into a neighbor's house for a quick meth 
fix, fearful of taking a bullet to the head in President Duterte's 
brutal war on drugs but unable to quit.

More than 2,000 people have died violent deaths since Duterte took 
office two months ago and immediately implemented his scorched-earth 
plans to eradicate drugs in society, ordering police to shoot dead 
traffickers and urging ordinary citizens to kill addicts.

The bloodbath has seen unknown assailants kill more than half the 
victims, according to police statistics, raising fears that security 
forces and hired assassins are roaming through communities and 
shooting dead anyone suspected of being involved in drugs.

Armed police constantly circle in Reyjin's Manila slum community, but 
he continues to snort the fumes of the highly addictive 
methamphetamine known as "shabu" that Duterte has warned is 
destroying the lives of millions of poor Filipinos.

"It's scary because I could be next," said the gaunt, gap-toothed 
28-year-old, speaking to AFP on the condition his identity not be 
revealed for security reasons.

The father of three said two masked motorcycle gunmen riding in 
tandem on a motorcycle had shot dead a woman who sold small amounts 
of drugs to him and other residents.

"She was sitting in the alley when she took two bullets to the head," he said.

Such riding-in-tandem murders are one of the most common forms of 
killings by the shadowy assassins.

'Cardboard justice'

Often a piece of cardboard, with "drug peddler" or "drug addict" 
written on it, is placed on the corpse. This has led to the war on 
crime becoming known as "cardboard justice."

Meanwhile, police have reported killing 756 people they have branded 
drug suspects.

Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa 
has repeatedly defended his officers, insisting they only kill when 
their own lives are in danger.

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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom