AS DRUG WAR RAGES: Vigilante killings and an anti-narcotics operation overnight left dead at least 13 people -- among them, teenagers, breadwinners, and former drug abusers struggling to mend their ways.
In Makati, the country's financial hub, the drinking spree of two teenagers ended in a bloodbath as four motorcycle-riding men opened fire on them in Rockefeller Street, Barangay San Isidro.
CCTV footage showed the gunmen shooting the 18-year-old victims without getting off from their motorbikes. They fled towards the direction of Batangas Street.
The victims, identified as Ace Bacoro and Randy Groyon, were declared dead on arrival at the hospital.
Both were included in the barangay's drug watchlist. Groyon was also previously arrested for possession of marijuana.
Recovered from the crime scene were 20 empty shells.
Death also came for a jeepney driver at the end of a taxing day when an unidentified man gunned him down in Catmon, Malabon.
Loreto Lorenzo, 58, had just parked his jeepney in front of his house when the suspect attacked. Lorenzo died on the spot due to four gunshot wounds on his neck and shoulders.
His wife said Lorenzo surrendered under government's Oplan Tokhang, but has not yet been able to quit drugs entirely.
His killer was on board a motorcycle and was wearing a bull cap and black shirt, a witness said.
Five unidentified gunmen also shot dead a construction worker while he was eating at a "mami" store in front of his house in Caloocan.
The victim, Rodrigo Francisco, was a former drug user who surrendered and promised to stop using narcotics under the government's Oplan Tokhang, according to his wife.
"Aaminin ko po, opo, nagdo-droga. Pero pinatigil ko na po. Dapat ang pinapatay nila, iyung mga nagbabagsak po," bemoaned Francisco's widow, Mary Grace Aquino, as she fought off tears.
(Yes, I'll admit it, he had abused drugs but I've already asked him to stop. They should kill drug suppliers, not the users.)
Six shells from a caliber .45 gun were recovered from the crime scene.
A vendor of fashion jewelry was also killed in the middle of a card game at a wake in Batasan Hills, Quezon City.
Witnesses said a masked suspect riding a motorbike ordered other wake attenders to leave before he shot dead Herminia Larios in Congressional Road.
Village officials said two separate Tokhang operations once targeted Larios who was previously arrested for a drug-related offense.
In the same village, a masked man also gunned down Gloria Melgarat and another unidentified man at an alley in the corner of IBP Road.
The victims were drug abusers, their relatives said.
"Kailangan ba talagang patayin? Wala na ba kaming karapatan na mahihirap na magbago?" bewailed Dalia Pagaduan in Pasig after losing her son in a vigilante attack.
(Should they really be killed? Do they have no right to change their ways?)
Dalia said her son was a drug user but she had asked him to drop his vice even before President Duterte took office in June.
Her son, Jessie, the eldest in a brood of six, was repeatedly shot in the head by unidentified suspects in East Bank Road, Santa Lucia.
In under an hour, another man was killed in front of his grandfather's house in the nearby village of Manggahan.
The attack also left the victim's wife wounded.
Gaudencio Mueca, grandfather of victim Nick Villegas, said he did not know that the couple was coming to visit him.
Other relatives said Villegas was once admitted at a drug rehabilitation center for a year.
He has since been clean and had stopped working as a tricycle driver to take care of his six daughters, they added.
A daughter of Villegas described her slain father as kind and loving.
"Matagal na yang tumigil sa droga mahigit isang taon... mga kapatid ko lang ang pinagkakaabalahan niya," she said. (He stopped using drugs over a year ago. He was busy taking care of my sisters.)
In Pasay, no one witnessed the fatal shooting of tricycle driver Christopher Delantar in Barangay Sto. Niño.
Delantar's live-in partner said he left their house to meet two friends. He was found dead after 30 minutes.
The victim also surrendered during Oplan Tokhang.
Three men, meanwhile, were killed after allegedly fighting policemen during a drug buy-bust operation under Jones Bridge in Binondo, Manila.
The suspects, identified only as aliases Cyril, Dodong and Ega, allegedly fired at policemen after selling P500 worth of shabu to a poseur-buyer. The three alleged drug pushers died in the ensuing firefights.
Recovered from the suspects were five sachets of shabu worth P3,000 and a gun each.
The three were allegedly member of the Cyril drug group that operates in Manila's Delpan, Escolta, Parola, Tondo and Santa Cruz districts.
Most of their customers are tricycle drivers and porters, police said.
Over 2,500 drug-related fatalities have been tallied since May 10, a day after Duterte's landslide election win, until November 29, an independent monitoring by ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group shows.
-- With reports from Bianca Dava and Anjo Bagaoisan, ABS-CBN News; Angel Movido and Ruby Bernardo-Tayag, DZMM