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Duterte’s War on Drugs Leaves Tragic Legacy for Filipino Families – in Pictures

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Remy Fernandez, 84 years old, holds two of the seven grandchildren she is raising. Her youngest son, Constantino de Juan, a methamphetamine user, was killed by masked men in December, 2016. Upon seeing his attackers, Juan instructed five-year-old CJ, shown here wearing a red tank top, to take care of his siblings. The children's mother is in prison due to a drug arrest. Baby RJ, in the "daddy's little helper" T-shirt, was born in prison. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.

Remy Fernandez, 84 years old, holds two of the seven grandchildren she is raising. Her youngest son, Constantino de Juan, a methamphetamine user, was killed by masked men in December, 2016. Upon seeing his attackers, Juan instructed five-year-old CJ, shown here wearing a red tank top, to take care of his siblings. The children's mother is in prison due to a drug arrest. Baby RJ, in the "daddy's little helper" T-shirt, was born in prison. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017. 

Since Rodrigo Duterte became president last year, his brutal campaign against drugs has claimed thousands of lives. Human rights groups say he is guilty of crimes against humanity, yet that is scant comfort to those mourning loved ones.

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Ginnalyn Soriano, 21, looks on as the body of her elder brother, 24-year-old Julius, is carried away following his execution. His body showed signs that his hands had been bound before he was shot during a police operation in Caloocan, in the Metro Manila area, as part of the war on drugs. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.

Ginnalyn Soriano, 21, looks on as the body of her elder brother, 24-year-old Julius, is carried away following his execution. His body showed signs that his hands had been bound before he was shot during a police operation in Caloocan, in the Metro Manila area, as part of the war on drugs. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.

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Remy Fernandez, 84, holds her grandchild, RJ, in the front door of her cinder block house, built beside a huge rubbish dump in Payatas, a neighborhood in Metro Manila. She is raising seven grandchildren because her son, Constantino de Juan, a drug user, was killed by masked men. The assassins entered the house through this front door. Police deny claims by rights groups that the vigilantes who carry out many such killings are paid by them. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.

Remy Fernandez, 84, holds her grandchild, RJ, in the front door of her cinder block house, built beside a huge rubbish dump in Payatas, a neighborhood in Metro Manila. She is raising seven grandchildren because her son, Constantino de Juan, a drug user, was killed by masked men. The assassins entered the house through this front door. Police deny claims by rights groups that the vigilantes who carry out many such killings are paid by them. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.

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Constantino de Juan’s seven children sit on a sofa that still bears the bullet hole from their father’s shooting. Juan was preparing a spaghetti dinner on his daughter’s birthday when he was killed. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.

Constantino de Juan’s seven children sit on a sofa that still bears the bullet hole from their father’s shooting. Juan was preparing a spaghetti dinner on his daughter’s birthday when he was killed. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.

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John ‘Toto’ Dela Cruz, 16, was another victim of the war on drugs. Masked assassins pulled him out of this house in Navotas, which he shared with his 15-year-old partner, Jasmin Dorana, before shooting him four times in the head and chest on the front porch. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.

John ‘Toto’ Dela Cruz, 16, was another victim of the war on drugs. Masked assassins pulled him out of this house in Navotas, which he shared with his 15-year-old partner, Jasmin Dorana, before shooting him four times in the head and chest on the front porch. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.

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Dorana holds her baby, Hazel, who was born just a month before Dela Cruz was killed. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.

Dorana holds her baby, Hazel, who was born just a month before Dela Cruz was killed. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.

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More than a fifth of the population of the Philippines lives below the poverty line. The strict Catholic country also has one of the highest birth rates in Southeast Asia. More than 65% of women don’t use a modern form of contraceptive. In the shanty towns around Manila, poverty is ingrained. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.

More than a fifth of the population of the Philippines lives below the poverty line. The strict Catholic country also has one of the highest birth rates in Southeast Asia. More than 65% of women don’t use a modern form of contraceptive. In the shanty towns around Manila, poverty is ingrained. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.

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Rosita Opiasa, 59, runs this corner shop in Market 3 shanty town, an area of Navotas. Her son, Jayson Rivera, 32, was killed in the drug war. (His photo can be seen in the background.) Opiasa still supports President Duterte, which is rare in Market 3. From her shop, she sells single cigarettes and small bottles of shampoo and detergent because her customers can’t afford larger sizes. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.

Rosita Opiasa, 59, runs this corner shop in Market 3 shanty town, an area of Navotas. Her son, Jayson Rivera, 32, was killed in the drug war. (His photo can be seen in the background.) Opiasa still supports President Duterte, which is rare in Market 3. From her shop, she sells single cigarettes and small bottles of shampoo and detergent because her customers can’t afford larger sizes. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.

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Ginnalyn Soriano breaks down in tears in front of Orly Fernandez, operations manager at Eusebio funeral home, as she fills out the required paperwork following the death of her brother Julius. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.

Ginnalyn Soriano breaks down in tears in front of Orly Fernandez, operations manager at Eusebio funeral home, as she fills out the required paperwork following the death of her brother Julius. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.

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Roland Obletes, 30, and his brother Mario were allowed out of prison to say farewell to another brother, Junmar Abletes, who was killed by unidentified men wearing black masks and hoods. Both men are serving time for drug-related offenses. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.

Roland Obletes, 30, and his brother Mario were allowed out of prison to say farewell to another brother, Junmar Abletes, who was killed by unidentified men wearing black masks and hoods. Both men are serving time for drug-related offenses. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.

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Roda, 29, has been left to look after six children, after her husband, Crisanto, a rubbish picker at the Payatas dump, was killed. Roda cannot work because she has an ulcerous infection on her thigh and also needs to look after the children. Some of the older kids are sent out to sell fried bananas and other street food to bring in a little money. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.

Roda, 29, has been left to look after six children, after her husband, Crisanto, a rubbish picker at the Payatas dump, was killed. Roda cannot work because she has an ulcerous infection on her thigh and also needs to look after the children. Some of the older kids are sent out to sell fried bananas and other street food to bring in a little money. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.

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Sara used to live in a canvas hut but now sleeps in this old chicken coop in Navotas. She used to live with her husband, Kulot, in Market 3 shanty town, but he was killed because he was a known user of methamphetamine. Sara is destitute, so Kulot’s embalmed body lay in a morgue for more than 25 days before it was finally interred in a mass grave. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.

Sara used to live in a canvas hut but now sleeps in this old chicken coop in Navotas. She used to live with her husband, Kulot, in Market 3 shanty town, but he was killed because he was a known user of methamphetamine. Sara is destitute, so Kulot’s embalmed body lay in a morgue for more than 25 days before it was finally interred in a mass grave. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.

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Friends and family of 27-year-old Junmar Abletes follow the hearse carrying his body to the Navotas Catholic Cemetery. Abletes lived on the island of Samar, more than 800 kilometers away, but was killed in Market 3 when he returned for a family visit. Funeral processions like this for young men and women have become common in the past year. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.

Friends and family of 27-year-old Junmar Abletes follow the hearse carrying his body to the Navotas Catholic Cemetery. Abletes lived on the island of Samar, more than 800 kilometers away, but was killed in Market 3 when he returned for a family visit. Funeral processions like this for young men and women have become common in the past year. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.

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Mary Grace Llimit, in the pink shirt, at Novatas Catholic Cemetery. Her 16-year-old daughter, Liezel, was killed alongside her boyfriend. Liezel’s autopsy showed she was three months pregnant. Mary Grace was working in Singapore when she received the news of her daughter’s death. Liezel was shot eight times, including four bullets to the head, leaving her unrecognizable, says her mother. With Mary Grace are her mother, Appolinaria Salita, and her youngest son, Noel, who is three years old. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.

Mary Grace Llimit, in the pink shirt, at Novatas Catholic Cemetery. Her 16-year-old daughter, Liezel, was killed alongside her boyfriend. Liezel’s autopsy showed she was three months pregnant. Mary Grace was working in Singapore when she received the news of her daughter’s death. Liezel was shot eight times, including four bullets to the head, leaving her unrecognizable, says her mother. With Mary Grace are her mother, Appolinaria Salita, and her youngest son, Noel, who is three years old. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017. 

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Liezel’s father, Cerlon Llimit, climbs up to her tomb at the cemetery to light candles for his daughter. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.

Liezel’s father, Cerlon Llimit, climbs up to her tomb at the cemetery to light candles for his daughter. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.

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A group of young boys sniff glue on a street corner in Payatas, where many people make a living picking through rubbish for recyclable materials. The community has lost several young men to extrajudicial killings, and sniffing glue could lead to a death sentence (their faces have been obscured for their safety). One night earlier this month, 32 people were killed as part of Duterte’s war on drugs. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017. 

A group of young boys sniff glue on a street corner in Payatas, where many people make a living picking through rubbish for recyclable materials. The community has lost several young men to extrajudicial killings, and sniffing glue could lead to a death sentence (their faces have been obscured for their safety). One night earlier this month, 32 people were killed as part of Duterte’s war on drugs. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.

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Religious icons in Remy Fernandez’s house. The archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, recently denounced extrajudicial killings after the death of a 17-year-old student in Caloocan sparked nationwide protests. "We knock on the consciences of those who kill even the helpless, especially those who cover their faces... to stop wasting human lives," he said. The Senate has put forward a resolution condemning the killings. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.

Religious icons in Remy Fernandez’s house. The archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, recently denounced extrajudicial killings after the death of a 17-year-old student in Caloocan sparked nationwide protests. "We knock on the consciences of those who kill even the helpless, especially those who cover their faces... to stop wasting human lives," he said. The Senate has put forward a resolution condemning the killings. Image by James Whitlow Delano. Philippines, 2017.