The mother-turned-contract killer in President Duterte’s Philippines

'Maria' is part of a three woman hit team killing for cash in Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody, violent drug-war.

Philippines War on Drugs Continue

Sachets of crystal meth known locally as shabu, seen next to the corpse of a suspected drug pusher (Zeke Jacobs/NurPhoto/Getty Images) Source: NurPhoto

Since the Philippines' firebrand president Rodrigo Duterte took office two months ago, almost 2,000 people have been slain in a government-sanctioned war on drugs.

Street executions are surging as police, vigilante groups and other drug dealers take advantage of an emerging state of lawlessness which the government says will clean up the streets of dealers pushing crystal meth, known locally as shabu.

The dead include men, women, teenagers and even children.

One woman profiting from the wave of violence is Maria – not her real name – who spoke with the .

The woman arrived at the interview carrying a young baby, apologising that she couldn’t find a carer in time.

Her family is now in the contract killing business.

She told the BBC she first killed someone several years ago. But since Duterte came to power she's killed five more – she shot each one in the head.

Maria and her husband work together, taking orders from a police officer who doubles as a drug dealer. Many dealers are reportedly using the war to take out their competition.

She told the BBC how she got in to contract killing.

"My husband was ordered to kill people who had not paid what they owed," she told Mr Heard. "One time, they needed a husband tapped me to do the job. When I saw the man I was supposed to kill, I got near him and I shot him."

Women are valuable as guns for hire. They can get closer to their targets without raising suspicion.

Her husband and their team earn up to 20,000 Philippine pesos per hit – $570 AUD. It’s an irresistible sum to the young family, she said.

But she told the BBC she was worried about what her children will think, her older son is already asking questions about where their money comes from.

"I do not want them to come back at us and say that they got to live because we killed for money," she said.

"I feel guilty and it is hard on my nerves. I don't want the families of those I have killed to come after me."

2 min read
Published 30 August 2016 at 1:06pm
Source: SBS