Why should we tell the story of Jasmine Dorana, a 15-year old widow and mother to an infant, after masked assassins dragged her teenaged husband, "Toto" by the hair outside onto a rotten-wood porch of their tin-roof hut raised on posts above a fetid wamp choked in plastic and raw sewage, then shot him four times in the head, dying her arms as she cried, "Pa, not yet ... Not yet, please ... We have a baby?"
Why should people care about Remy Fernandez, an 84 year-old grandmother left to raise seven grandchildren after their father was executed by masked gunment sent to the slums to kill him in his own hotel room?
Metro Manila's massive slums are a vast dumping ground for the multigenerational poor, and they make up the vast majority of the victims—an estimated 13,000 extrajudicial killings (and counting)—in Philippines President Duterte's war on drugs, or "Tokhang."
We tell these stories because we're human, because not knowing their story and not exposing these worst of crimes, we would become complicit in the crimes—we'd be sanctioing these crimes with our silence.
James Whitlow Delano is a Japan-based documentary storyteller. His work has been published and exhibited throughout the world and led to four award-winning monograph photo books, including "Empire: Impressions from China" and "Black Tsunami: Japan 2011." Projects have been cited with the Alfred Esenstadt Award from Columbia University and Life Magazine, Leica's Oskar Barnack, Picture of the Year International, NPPA Best of Photojournalism, PDN and others for work from China, Japan, Afghanistan and Mynamar (Burma). In 2015, he founded EverydayClimateChange (ECC) Instagram feed, where photographers from six continents document global climate change on seven continents.