Death of a Nation

Kimberly dela Cruz

2016 - Ongoing


When Duterte came to power in the Philippines in 2016, he launched a drug war that promised death and it came true every day and every night.

Men, women, and children killed by the police in anti-drug operations, others shot by gunmen believed to be death squads. They were murdered inside their homes, in the street, in dark alleyways while some were abducted and later found dead, dumped on the side of the road with their faces covered in masking tape: all for the world to see.

There are thousands of people who have been killed but few cases are filed in court. Families affected are mostly poor with very little knowledge of the law and their rights. There is a generation of orphans raising their siblings in trauma and fear. With very little support for these victims, most are left in further squalor. Death of a Nation documents the violence and suffering a kill-driven policy has brought to the Philippines and its lasting impact on a fragile democracy when human rights are discarded. This project also chronicles the lives of those who were left behind: its aftermath where grief remains when justice seems bleak.

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