This article examines the practices to resolve the illegal drug problem in the Philippines during President Rodrigo Duterte’s tenure.
During the first half of 2016 leading up to the Philippine Presidential elections, one of Rodrigo Duterte's central campaign platforms was his commitment to solve the illegal drug problem in the country within six months of his election. Following his victory, Duterte took immediate steps towards fulfilling his promise to eliminate drug dealers and users by emboldening both the police and vigilantes to kill suspects with impunity, often using a politicized spectacle of violence and humiliation to appeal to the people's clamor for justice. While official police numbers place the death toll at ∼5,000, some human rights groups estimate the number of deaths to be between 20,000 and 27,000 deaths, most of whom belong to the urban poor. Notably, the current war on drugs does not follow universal principles of the rule of law, which are accountability, just laws, open government, and impartial dispute resolution. (Publish Excerpt Provided)