An Anarchist and Autonomous Community-Based Resource Center in Muntinlupa City (Manila south), Philippines
MANILA – The body of 22-year-old pedicab driver Eric Sison lies in a coffin in a Manila slum with a chick pacing across his casket, placed there in keeping with a local tradition to symbolically peck at the conscience of his killers.
Cellphone video footage circulating on social media purports to capture the moment Sison was killed last month when, according to local officials, police were looking for drug pushers in the Pasay township of the Philippines’ capital.
A voice on the video, recorded by a neighbor according to newspaper reports, can be heard shouting “Don’t do it, I’ll surrender!”. Then there is the sound of gunfire.
A poster near the coffin, which lies beside a stinking canal cut between ramshackle homes, demands “Justice for Eric Quintinita Sison”. A handpainted sign reads: “OVERKILL – JUSTICE 4 ERIC.”
These are rare tokens of protest against a surge of killings unleashed since Rodrigo Duterte became president of the Philippines just over two months ago and pledged to wage war on drug dealers and crush widespread addiction to methamphetamine.
Very little stands in the way of his bloody juggernaut.
Last week the number of people killed since July 1 reached 2,400: about 900 died in police operations, and the rest are “deaths under investigation”, a term human rights activists say is a euphemism for vigilante and extrajudicial killings.
Duterte’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on this report.