The new president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, assumed office on June 30, quickly ordering a renewed crackdown on illegal drugs and drug-related crimes. The immediate results have been more than 400 deaths, and thousands of arrests, driving more prisoners into an already crowded and strained system. For example, in Manila’s Quezon City jail, 3,800 inmates are now stuffed into a facility built to house just 800. According to AFP reporter Ayee Macaraig, the incarcerated men “engage in a relentless contest for space… taking turns sleeping on the cracked cement floor of an open-air basketball court, the steps of staircases, underneath beds and hammocks made out of old blankets.” AFP photographer Noel Celis recently captured the following scenes from just one of the Philippines’ many overcrowded jails.
Inmates sleep on the steps of a staircase inside the Quezon City jail at night in Manila on July 21, 2016.
A prison guard locks a gate inside the crowded Quezon City jail on July 21, 2016
Inmates peek from their cell in the Quezon City Jail on July 18, 2016.
Handcuffs hang inside the Quezon City jail on July 29, 2016.
Dozens of inmates sleep on the ground of an open basketball court inside the Quezon City jail on July 21, 2016.