‘Pietà’-like photo, PH drug war story on New York Times front page
The war against illegal drugs being waged by President Rodrigo Duterte is now going global.
The New York Times in its August 3, 2016 issue featured the rise in killings of suspected drug users and pushers in the country since Duterte assumed the presidency last June 30.
The newspaper also splashed the now viral photo of Jennelyn Olaires weeping while cradling her husband Michael Siaron, a pedicab driver and alleged drug pusher, who was shot and killed by motorcycle-riding men in Pasay City last month.
The photo, which was likened to Michelangelo’s sculpture “Pietà,” went viral and was even described by the firebrand President as “melodramatic” during his first State of the Nation Address (Sona).
“Eh tapos nandiyan ka nakabulagta (And there you are slumped on the ground) and you are portrayed in a broadsheet na parang (like) Mother Mary cradling the dead cadaver of Jesus Christ. Eh ‘yan ‘yang mga yan magda-dramahan tayo ditto (That’s what I call being melodramatic),” Duterte said.
The Times story which accompanied the photo is titled “Body Count Rises as Philippine President Wages War on Drugs.”
The story gave an overview on Duterte’s crackdown against illegal drugs and cited a letter penned by the International Drug Policy Consortium urging the United Nations drug control agencies “to demand an end to the atrocities currently taking place in the Philippines” and to state that extrajudicial killings “do not constitute acceptable drug control measures.”
It also quoted political analyst Ramon Casiple who said that people should give the President “100 days” to see if his war against drugs has been effective.
The photo of Olaires and Sairon was first featured by the Philippine Daily Inquirer on its front page last July 24. CDG
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