Victims move forward from the Philippine drug war



Victims move forward from the Philippine drug war

11 April 2024
Program Paghilom
International Center for Multigenerational Legacies of Trauma

When? Monday April 15, 9:00pm ET | Tuesday April 16, 9:00am PHT


As Mayor of Davao City and then President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte orchestrated a campaign of widespread extrajudicial killings in the Philippine drug war. Now the subject of an investigation by the International Criminal Court, the Duterte drug war according to the government has claimed more than 6,000 lives, while NGOs believe the true number is upwards of 30,000. Since late during the Duterte presidency and continuing under President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., drug war killings reported by media outlets in the Philippines have continued at a rate of about one per day.

Adding to the the suffering of victims/survivors, burial plots rented by the government have expiration dates, leading to cremations when families can't pay or sometimes without their knowledge. In addition to the indignity, this is also a potential evidentiary issue for the ICC. The AJ Kalinga Foundation's Program Paghilom helps families make arrangements for their loved ones' remains, with ritual to provide closure, and conducts forensic examinations, as part of a support framework that includes education, legal support and other basic needs.


Fr. Flaviano Villanueva SVD is a leading human rights advocate in the Philippines. He will discuss the work of Program Paghilom, including its efforts to document and memorialize extrajudicial killings in the Duterte drug war while helping victims/survivors move forward with their lives.

Dr. Yael Danieli, a clinical psychologist, psychohistorian, victimologist and traumatologist, will discuss the challenges faced by victims/survivors of atrocities, the role of victims in relation to cases at the International Criminal Court, and the concept of reparative justice in international law. She will also discuss the impact that trauma from mass atrocities has on future generations, a phenomenon recognized by the ICC for the first time in the Uganda Dominic Ongwen prosecution.

Gang Badoy Capati is the founder of Rock Ed Philippines and Project: Steady Asia, and is a trauma therapist and trained media literacy instructor with a background in media, documentary filmmaking, education and publishing. She will discuss victims' trauma in the context of events and conditions in The Philippines.