HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Support the families and orphans left behind by the victims of the war against drugs. Most people that were killed were breadwinners who left behind widows, mothers, and orphans. You can extend your support to them by reaching out to the organizations below. These initiatives provide safe spaces and communities for healing and coping with trauma and create livelihood projects for the victims to move forward.
Arrange a screening of Aswang in your community. Organize a screening of Aswang in your school, workplace, or community! We hope to foster open conversations about the film and the issues it touches.
Arrange a screening in the Philippines — firstname.lastname@example.org
For festivals and screenings all over the world — levelk.dk
Be informed! Here's a list of text, images, reportage, films, research, and other resources about the extrajudicial killings and the state of human rights in the Philippines.
A digital advocacy platform that aims to contribute to the goal of ending the streak of decades-long drug-related and state-institutionalized violence
The desaparecidos of Duterte's drug war (PCIJ, 2022)
Testimonies from former police agents show that enforced disappearances were employed during President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war on drugs”, as it was during the martial law of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Statement of ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, on her request to open an investigation of the Situation in the Philippines (ICC, 2021)
International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda asked the court’s judges to approve her investigation into crimes committed in the Philippines from November 1, 2011, the date the Philippines became an ICC member, until March 16, 2019. On March 17, 2019, the Philippines effectively withdrew from the court.
ICC prosecutor seeks full probe into Duterte’s drug war killings (Aljazeera, 2021)
The International Criminal Court moves another step closer to opening an investigation into alleged "crimes against humanity" in the Philippines:
Philippines: UN human rights experts renew call for an on-the-ground independent, impartial investigation (OHCHR, 2020)
“The experts highlighted “the staggering cost of the relentless and systematic assault on the most basic rights of Filipinos at the hands of the Government”
Our Happy Family Is Gone: Impact of the “War on Drugs” on Children in the Philippines (Human Rights Watch, 2020)
An investigation by the Human Rights Watch from 2018-2020 focused on incidents in which a child dependent was left behind.
How a Redemptorist Brother Helped Victims of the War on Drugs Move Forward (Esquire Philippines)
Brother Ciriaco “Jun” Santiago convinced the parish to create programs for families affected by the drug war. Much like the natural disasters that have struck the nation, Santiago believes the government’s deadly program is also a disaster. “It became more than just for documentation,” he said of his work. “It has evolved. It became a mission.”
Colonel Romeo Caramat, head of drug enforcement for the Philippine National Police, said the volume of crime had decreased as a result of the drug war, but users could still buy illegal drugs “any time, anywhere” in the Philippines.
‘Duterte’s war on drugs a massive failure’ (Philippine Star, 2020)
Vice President Leni Robredo said the failure was due to law enforcers focusing on neutralizing low-level pushers rather than cutting main sources of supply. She said the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) was able to seize only one percent of the total methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu supply in the past three years.
The human rights crisis in the Philippines took a downward spiral in June 2016 when President Rodrigo Duterte took office. This HRW situationer mentions the effects of Duterte’s policies on children, attacks against journalists and human rights defenders, and the continued imprisonment of Senator Leila De Lima who is jailed on “politically motivated drug charges filed against her in apparent retaliation for leading a Senate inquiry into the “drug war” killings.”
‘They just kill’: Ongoing extrajudicial executions and other violations in the Philippines’ ‘war on drugs,’ (Amnesty, 2019)
Three years into the Philippine government’s “war on drugs,” extrajudicial executions at the hands of the police and their associates continue. The vast majority of those who have been targeted are poor and marginalised people.
The Catholic rebels resisting the Philippines’ deadly war on drugs (The Guardian, 2019)
About our protagonist Brother Jun Santiago. “Brother Jun has taken it upon himself to perform a dizzyingly varied set of roles: from menial tasks, such as supplying candles for protest marches, to diplomatic work, such as appealing to eminent prelates for solidarity, to more dangerous missions such as patrolling Manila’s streets at night and racing to crime scenes in order to photograph the dead – hundreds over the past three years.”
Duterte Says, ‘My only sin is the extrajudicial killings’ (New York Times, 2018)
“I told the military, what is my fault? Did I steal even one peso?” Mr. Duterte said. “My only sin is the extrajudicial killings.”
About our inspiring protagonist Brother Jun Santiago. “Brother Jun is a longtime photographer, and as a result, he has one foot in two influential institutions in the Philippines: the church and the media. By day, he attends to religious duties at a parish in Manila. After hours, he goes into the field as one of the dozens of “nightcrawlers” documenting President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal war on drug dealers and users.”
17 year-old Delos Santos' death could potentially turn the tide in Duterte's drugs war, which rights groups have decried as nothing more than brutal, extrajudicial massacre. In the week since Delos Santos was killed, Filipinos have taken to the streets in greater numbers than ever before to demand justice for what they say is an unjustified killing.
Seventeen year old Kian delos Santos is taken and murdered by the police for being suspected of dealing drugs. CCTV showed the police dragging him as he begged them to let him go. “I have a test tomorrow”, neighbors heard him pleading.
Philippine police puts people in secret prison cell and use chaos of Duterte’s drug war to extort families (Washington Post, 2017)
13 men and women are discovered in a secret prison cell hidden behind a bookcase in the office of the Drug Enforcement Unit of the Philippine Police Station 1. Arrested without warrants and held for weeks in subhuman conditions,, they say the police are extorting money in exchange for their freedom.
If you are poor, you are killed (Amnesty, 2017)
Amnesty International’s investigation details how the police have systematically targeted mostly poor and defenceless people across the country while planting “evidence”, recruiting paid killers, stealing from the people they kill and fabricating official incident reports.
The Impunity Series (Rappler, 2016-2019)
Rappler’s series of investigations documents the drug war as it continues to be fought across Duterte's presidency. Rappler, an online news publication in the Philippines, has been constantly on the receiving end of President Duterte’s attacks, along with the television network ABS CBN.
Photos: ‘They are slaughtering us like animals.’ (New York Times, 2016)
Photographs and text by Daniel Berehulak, who documented 57 homicide victims over 35 days in 2016.