Manila, Philippines – The trail of blood that has coloured the streets of the city for three months continues to flow.
Since the end of June, President Rodrigo Duterte has led a war on drugs, dealers and addicts. He is fulfilling his campaign promise of eradicating the problem of drugs in the country by killing those involved in the trade.
Latest reports indicate that in fewer than three months more than 3,700 people have been killed. At night, armed police of vigilantes go around targeting drug dealers and addicts.
In an anti-drugs operation called Oplan Tokhang, the police move around with a list compiled through informers of people they believe to be connected to the world of drugs. Going house to house, they try to convince these suspects to “surrender”.
It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of people have surrendered through these types of operations. Many people are turning themselves in for fear of being executed. Prisons have become heavily overcrowded.
Despite the very high human cost of this policy, it is leading to a turning point in the war on drugs. The popularity of President Duterte is growing, as the security situation is improving and people say they feel their everyday lives are getting better.