'My job is to go to places where people die. I pack my bags, talk to the survivors, write my stories, then go home to wait for the next catastrophe. I don't wait very long.' Journalist Patricia Evangelista came of age in the aftermath of a street revolution that forged a new future for the Philippines. Three decades later, in the face of mounting inequality, the nation discovered the fragility of its democratic institutions under the regime of strongman Rodrigo Duterte. Some People Need Killing is Evangelista's meticulously reported and deeply human chronicle of the Philippines' drug war and Duterte's assault on the country's struggling democracy.
Powerful ... Evangelista makes us feel the fear and grief that she felt as she chronicled what Duterte was doing to her country. But appealing to our emotions is only part of it; what makes this book so striking is that she wants us to think about what happened, too. She pays close attention to language, and not only because she is a writer. Language can be used to communicate, to deny, to threaten, to cajole. Duterte’s language is coarse and degrading. Evangelista’s is evocative and exacting.
Meticulously researched ... The bleak, gripping prose is reminiscent of a crime novel. It is gruesome without feeling exploitative. Evangelista unravels the web of dehumanization and everyday failures that led to Duterte’s rise, leaving the reader with few answers and an unsettling picture of the future. Analytical, ambitious, and told with empathy, this will stand as a definitive historical account of the Philippines’ drug war.