ACE and Sheila* are a married couple who say they are tasked with killing drug users and drug dealers as part of the Philippine President’s war on drugs.
The couple claim their death squad receives up to $100 per kill from the police, and with four children to support they say it’s the only way they can make that sort of money.
That’s doesn’t seem much for being an assassin. My first thought is that the professional assassins need a union to try and lobby Government to stop the new amateur assassins undercutting their pay. It’s like taxis vs Uber.
But maybe $100 is a lot. It is around 5,000 pesos. That is around a month’s salary for a cleaner. Would you kill someone in NZ for say $3,000? I would have thought
A teacher can earn 15,000 pesos a month so that pays more than a kill per fortnight.
When we get the identification, we study it for a day, then the thing is that the job should be done within three days’ time. You should finish the hit within three days. So as soon as we get the identification we study it, then next day, we get moving. Generally by gun. If we get close to the person, or we spot them, and when we get the chance, we shoot them.
We don’t just shoot them once. We don’t leave them with just one shot. We make sure they’re dead. When we get the chance, we put the card with the word “pusher” on them.
Because the media picks it up when the card is on the target. We put the card so it attracts the media, and that’s our proof to our boss that the job is done.
I think our group has done a quarter of the 2800 killings. And the rest have been done by the other groups.
This goes against old fashioned supply and demand. The Government wants 100,000 drug dealers and users killed so this has massively increased demand for killers and assassins. With demand so high, you’d think prices for killers would have increased, but instead it has seen a flood of cheap labour into the market, depressing the equilibrium price for a killing.
I guess a factor is that these killings are state sanctioned so the normal risk premium for being caught by the Police has disappeared.