Funeral parlors swamped with bodies, but they are not making money

Undertakers in the Philippines have never been busier with an average of five corpses bring brought into a funeral parlor each night, mostly from slums, five months since President Rodrigo Duterte’s launch of the bloody drug war against illegal drugs, according to a report in The Manila Times Online on Saturday.

The drug-related deaths have swamped most funeral parlors that some undertakers have said they wanted the killings to stop.

“This shouldn’t happen, they are people, not animals,” Alejandro Ormeneta told AFP as he recalled taking out three nails hammered into the skull of an alleged drug trafficker.
“I think he was still alive when they hammered the nails. They tied him up first, put tape around the head, then hammered the nails in…that must have been so painful. I felt so sorry for him,” said Ormeneta.

On a typical night recently, Ormeneta walked down a narrow alleyway into a shanty where masked assailants had shot a man dead, the victim’s body still smelling of alcohol and revealed multiple gunshots to his head and body.

Police claimed that the victim had sold shabu, the cheap crystal methamphetamine that President Duterte says is ruining the society and must be eradicated.

But the victim’s sister insisted that he had stopped the illegal practice and had even reported himself to the police as part of Duterte’s campaign to pressure drug traffickers and users into surrendering.

Despite the continuing flow of corpses, funeral parlors are not necessarily making lots of money because families of most of the victims are too poor to be able to pay for the funeral.

Funeral director Rico Teodocio said that prices range from P18,000 to P400,000 ($360 to $8,000).