Marcos’ “war on drugs” kills 58 people in 2024

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The reactionary state’s bogus war on drugs started by the Duterte regime and perpetuated by the Marcos regime is entering its ninth year. In the first two months of 2024 alone, 58 “drug-related” killings were recorded by Dahas PH, the documentation project led by the University of the Philippines Third World Studies Center.

The project considers a homicide as “drug-related” if the victim was killed in an “anti-drug” operation by the police, was reported involved in illegal drug sales, was reported in possession of illegal drugs, said to be linked to another individual involved in illegal drug sales, or killed by personalities or individuals involved in illegal drug sales.

According to its research, “drug-related” killings have increased again since Ferdinand Marcos Jr. took office. Although number were high during the Duterte regime, the pattern of killings show a downtrend since its 2017 peak under the leadership of Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa. In 2022, for example, Dahas PH recorded 175 murders in the first six months of Marcos (July-December), higher by 26 than the 149 murders in the last six months of the Duterte regime (January-June 2022). In the following year, the number of victims increased further, from 324 in 2022 to 331 for 2023.

Most of the killing incidents happened in Davao City, the city ruled by the Duterte dynasty. The current city mayor is Sebastian Duterte, third of Rodrigo Duterte’s children.

In the younger Duterte’s first year in power (July 2022-July 2023), drug-related murders in the city reached 53, or one per week. (Cebu came next with 44 murders and Metro Manila with 41 cases.) Police forces were the perpetrators in all the incidents, except for one case in Davao City. Most of the killings were done in the Poblacion District, which is under Congressman Paolo Duterte.

AB: Marcos' "war on drugs" kills 58 people in 2024