Sumary of Drug war dead exhumed as grave leases expire:
- Activists estimate tens of thousands of people have died since President Rodrigo Duterte ordered police to go after drug addicts and dealers in a widely-condemned campaign that has largely targeted poor men.
- Many of the dead were put in “apartment” tombs stacked meters high in jam-packed cemeteries across the sprawling capital, where a five-year lease on a rectangular concrete box costs about 5,000 pesos ($100).
- As leases run out, a Catholic charity is helping families unable to afford the renewal fee to retrieve the bones of their loved ones with the aim of having them cremated and put in a permanent burial site.
- AFP PHOTO The mother of seven had welcomed Duterte’s promise to rid the country of drugs.
- “If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful,” Duterte told the public soon after he was sworn into office.
- Rodzon, a fishing port worker who used methamphetamine to stay awake during overnight shifts, was shot dead by police in his bed weeks after Duterte took power, she said.
- “Father Flavie Villanueva, a vocal critic of Duterte, is spearheading the exhumation effort.
- Villanueva hopes to eventually store the ashes in a columbarium to give victims a “dignified” final resting place – and help families find closure.