On Christmas eve, Kimberly Sailog will spend the night beside the casket of her 12-year old daughter Kristine Joy—the latest victim of 'collateral damage' on the war on drugs—in their shanty home in San Antonio, Binan, Laguna. Kristine was hit by a stray bullet on December 22, while attending the ...
On Christmas eve, Kimberly Sailog will spend the night beside the casket of her 12-year old daughter Kristine Joy—the latest victim of ‘collateral damage’ on the war on drugs—in their shanty home in San Antonio, Binan, Laguna. Kristine was hit by a stray bullet on December 22, while attending the pre-dawn mass or “Simbang Gabi” with her mother after motorcycle-riding gunmen sprayed gunshots for their target Allan Hernandez—a night watchman manning traffic near the church.
Kimberly Sailog carefully wiped the coffin’s glass cover with a red t-shirt, looking lovingly at her daughter beneath it. Though small and slender, the white box filled nearly the entire first floor of the Sailog home, a small shanty cobbled together with metal and plywood in a village south of Manila.
Atop the cover sat a container for funeral donations, a small plate of food, and a live yellow chick, now a recognized fixture in wakes like this one, where the victim was killed by an unknown attacker. It is believed that the chick will haunt the perpetrator and peck at his conscience.
The 12-year-old victim’s name was Kristine Joy Sailog. Her parents called her Tin-Tin or Bunso, the Filipino word for “youngest.” Like many girls her age, Tin-Tin liked daydreaming, writing in her journal, and, since getting a cellphone for her birthday last November, taking selfies.
She was among the latest fatalities in the brutal drug war waged by Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte. In the roughly six months Duterte has been in office, there have been over 6,200 drug-related killings, a combination of vigilante slayings and deaths resulting from police confrontations.
But Tin-Tin was not involved in drugs. Nor was she caught in the middle of a drug raid. Instead she was among the growing number of innocent victims hit by bullets not meant for them.
“She loved tickling my knees,” Sailog, 32, recalled softly. “Every night before going to bed, we would horse around. I’d pinch her nose, she would tickle my knees to make me laugh. She always said ‘I love you, mama’ before sleeping. Now, it’s as if she is just sleeping.”