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One Yearlong Anti-Drug Campaign in the Philippines

Photographers: Fracis R. Malasig, Rolex Dela Peña, Mark R. Cristino


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, 72, took office on 30 June 2016, after a landslide victory in the Philippine presidential election campaigning to rid the nation of corruption and crime, in particular, the drug trade.


Between 01 July 2016 and 30 May 2017, some 12,426 homicide cases were reported in the country, 2,091 drug-related, 2,447 non-drug related, and 7,888 homicides currently under investigation, according to the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM).


During the period from July 2016 to June 2017 about 2.4 tons of 'shabu' (drug methamphetamine) was seized in over 61,500 anti-drug operations. More than 82,600 people have been arrested and some 3,100 persons linked to drug trafficking have been killed, according to data released by government agencies.


Since July 2016 around 1.2 million individuals involved in illicit drugs have surrendered and undergone government proceedings, increasing the influx of detainees and leading to severe overcrowding of jails across the nation. From the same period, over 2,000 people have been categorized as severe drug users, with more than 1,200 receiving treatment.


Critics, including human rights advocates, lawyers, and the Catholic Church, have widely condemned Duterte's policy against illegal drugs and his breach of human rights through a hardline stance, criticizing Furthermore the police's handling of extrajudicial executions and other unlawful killings.


International human rights groups have also denounced the war on drugs, accusing the police of methodically targeting poor and unprotected people, including drug users and drug distributors.