Death squad disrupters: Filipina patrols in Pateros help keep drug killings at bay

A few officers accompany the women each night, enforcing curfews and smoking bans, and warning people against drugs
Reuters (UK)
Monday, February 17, 2020

philippines stop killingLate each night, a dozen women chat and share a meal before hitting the narrow streets of a Manila suburb where a death squad once roamed. They are the "women's patrol," a group of 18 mothers and grandmothers whose nightly walks through the dimly lit alleys of Pateros have been helping to deter shadowy gunmen behind murders of residents linked to illegal drugs. Not long after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared a war on drugs in 2016 and promised thousands would die, Pateros was being terrorized by attackers in hoods and ski masks, known locally as the "bonnet gang." With the town paralyzed by fear, the women decided to arm themselves with flashlights and patrol their community, keeping up a nightly presence to disrupt the bonnet gang.