Philippines: Who's liable for the mounting death toll?

Philippines: Who's liable for the mounting death toll?

Organisation: AJLabs for Al Jazeera (Qatar)

Publication Date: 04/07/2017


Size of team/newsroom:large


In August 2016, five-year-old Danica May was killed after a bullet meant for her grandfather hit her in the head. Her grandfather, Maximo Garcia, survived by fleeing to the back of the house. Garcia's wife said her husband, who had suffered a stroke three years ago, has never been involved in illegal drugs, although he was reportedly included on the government anti-drug watch list. As of December 13 2016, police records showed nearly 6000 people were killed across the country since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte took office on June 30. "Philippines: Who's liable for the mounting death toll" maps these thousands of deaths in the Philippines.

What makes this project innovative? What was its impact?

Al Jazeera was the first international media organization to map the thousands of deaths in the Philippines. Al Jazeera staff had to scour through national and local publications in the Philippines to obtain the list. By mapping the deaths, which happened during the term of President Rodrigo Duterte, we were able to present a different visual proof of the extent of the killings. We still continue to update them every few months, as the death toll continues to rise. More often than not, these killings are being ignored by a large portion of the society, and the victims largely forgotten. Through our project, we are also able to put some face to every person whose lives were cut short because of the anti-drug war campaign. There is no judgement in the list. Only their names, short profile and the circumstances of their deaths. In the future, when prosecutors go after those involved, we can show one more proof of their crimes. It will also serve as a remembrance of their lives as Filipino citizens.

Technologies used for this project:

Carto Maps, Bing Maps API (geocoding)
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