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18 Horrifying Pictures From The Philippines' Bloody Drug War

"Do it yourselves. If you have guns, you have my support." —President Rodrigo Duterte

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In 2016, it was reported by the Philippine National Police that approximately 3,600 individuals had been slain as part of a nationwide crackdown on illegal drug operations; nearly half of them were killed by suspected vigilantly groups influenced by President Rodrigo Duterte's words: "Do it yourselves. If you have guns, you have my support." While PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa has cited a 90% drop in drug supply, the overwhelming amount of deaths and incarceration, as well as the inhumane treatment of those prisoners, has drawn sharp criticism from international human rights advocates.

Here, photographer Shaun Swingler takes a firsthand look inside the brutal reality of the Philippines' war on drugs:

Shaun Swingler

One of three alleged drug suspects killed by police during "Oplan Tokhang" (knock and plead operation) in Sitio San Roque, Quezon City, on Sept. 14. The men allegedly fired on police and were killed after police returned fire. Handguns were found on scene, as well as two hand grenades and sachets of shabu (methamphetamine).


Shaun Swingler

A relative of an identified man killed by police in a suspected "buy-and-bust" operation sweeps away his blood after his body is removed from the scene on September 22.

Shaun Swingler

Adonis Dela Rosa's coffin is transported to Manila North Cemetery for burial on Sept. 13. Police allege that Dela Rosa, whom they killed during a "buy-and-bust" operation, was a hit man, but his wife strongly denies the claim.

Shaun Swingler

Suspected drug users are processed at the Quezon City Police Department on Sept.16. Two police operations in Culiat, Quezon City, that evening led to the arrest of 145 drug suspects, the largest arrest so far in the drug war.

Shaun Swingler

Men who were arrested during drug busts in Culiat, Quezon City, are placed in police holding cells to wait for the results from their urine drug tests taken two nights earlier.


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