The Philippines is in the midst of a brutal war on drugs sanctioned by the controversial President Rodrigo Duterte, which has seen almost 2,000 killings in a matter of weeks. The BBC’s Jonathan Head explores the country’s dark underbelly of dealers and assassins through the story of one woman trapped in a chilling predicament.
When you meet an assassin who has killed six people, you don’t expect to encounter a diminutive, nervous young woman carrying a baby.
“My first job was two years ago in this province nearby. I felt really scared and nervous because it was my first time.” Maria, not her real name, now carries out contract killings as part of the government-sanctioned war on drugs.
She is part of a hit team that includes three women, who are valued because they can get close to their victims without arousing the same suspicion a man would. Since President Duterte was elected, and urged citizens and police to kill drug dealers who resisted arrest, Maria has killed five more people, shooting them all in the head.(BBC,2016)