The tussle between life and death amid Philippines drug war (PHOTOS)
Kasandra Kate, 12, cries over the open coffin of her father Verigilio Mirano during his funeral at Navotas Public Cemetery in Manila, Philippines. According to a family member, Mirano, who was using drugs but stopped after Rodrigo Duterte became the president, was killed by masked gunmen at his home on September 27. Reuters

Almost 3,800 people have been killed in the Philippines in the campaign against illegal drugs trade since Rodrigo Duterte won the May elections in a landslide victory and came to power.

Before becoming the President, Duterte vowed to kill tens of thousands of criminals and to get rid of illegal drugs in the country in six months. However, recently he asked for some more time to complete his crackdown.

Referring to his promise, Duterte said last month: "I did not realise how severe and how serious the drug menace was in this republic until I became president."

Duterte's critics say the president allowed to develop an atmosphere of lawlessness that helped criminal groups to settle vendettas with impunity.

Reports say almost 1,500 of those who have died in police operations but most of the killings were carried out by armed groups. At times, those killings were publicly encouraged by Duterte.

The tussle between life and death amid Philippines drug war (PHOTOS)
A woman cradles the body of her husband, who was killed on a street by a vigilante group, according to police, in a spate of drug-related killings in Pasay city, Metro Manila. A sign on a cardboard found near the body reads: "Pusher Ako", which translates to "I am a drug pusher." Reuters
The tussle between life and death amid Philippines drug war (PHOTOS)
Janeth Mejos reacts as the body of her father Paquito Mejos is taken out of their home shortly after he was killed in a police operation in Manila. Reuters
The tussle between life and death amid Philippines drug war (PHOTOS)
A relative carries the son of Eric Quintinita Sison during burial rites in Pasay city, metro Manila. Reuters
The tussle between life and death amid Philippines drug war (PHOTOS)
A man holds a baby as police searches a slum during a drug raid, in Manila Reuters
The tussle between life and death amid Philippines drug war (PHOTOS)
The wife and daughter of a man who was killed during a drug buy-bust operation sleep next to his coffin as relatives and friends gather to mourn outside his home in Manila. Reuters
The tussle between life and death amid Philippines drug war (PHOTOS)
The body of 22-year-old pedicab driver Eric Sison lies in a coffin in a Manila slum with a chick pacing across his casket, placed there in keeping with a local tradition to symbolically peck at the conscience of his killers, a few days after Sison was killed when, according to local officials, police were looking for drug pushers in Pasay city, Metro Manila. Reuters