War on Drugs - updates

Rappler's latest stories on War on Drugs

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Duterte's violent drug war leaves children traumatized – HRW

May 27, 2020 - 2:30 PM

(UPDATED) The 'harmful consequences' of the anti-drug campaign go beyond bloody raids, says Human Rights Watch. Children who lose a loved one are left deeply scarred.

[EDITORIAL] In the face of impunity and double standards, #LawIsLaw

May 18, 2020 - 11:59 AM

Duterte and former police chief Bato dela Rosa have created a monster force – one that will make Hitler proud

4 drug suspects dead, 9 arrested in Bulacan anti-illegal drugs operations

May 03, 2020 - 10:32 PM

Authorities say all the alleged shootout happened in the wee hours covered by the curfew imposed under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the province

DRUG WAR. Personnel from Scene of Crime Operatives cordon off an area where an alleged shootout between the police and a suspected drug pusher happened. Photo from Bulacan Police Provincial Office

Mexico bans virus cremations due to search for drug war dead

Apr 16, 2020 - 10:25 AM

Victims of cartel hitmen or corrupt authorities often disappear without a trace. A wave of violence since 2006 has left more than 60,000 missing.

HOMELESS. A homeless woman sleeps outside the closed cathedral on Easter Sunday after Holy Week celebrations were canceled amid the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico, on April 12, 2020. Photo by Guillermo Arias/AFP

Duterte: It is my job to kill

Mar 10, 2020 - 11:04 PM

'It is my job to scare people, to intimidate people, and to kill people,' says President Rodrigo Duterte in a speech before local officials

THE PRESIDENT'S JOB. President Rodrigo Duterte holds a press conference in Malacañang March 9, 2020. Malacañang photo

Grieving children's choir breaking Philippine drug war cycle

Mar 09, 2020 - 4:29 PM

One of their most powerful appearances came last year at a protest near Duterte's annual address to the nation, where they sang their signature piece, 'Awit ng Naulila'

Children, including those who have lost a parent in alleged extrajudicial killings,“ attend a choir session as part of the Project Support Orphans and Widows (SOW) rehabilitation program in Payatas, Quezon City in suburban Manila. Photo by Jam Sta Rosa/AFP

Duterte: Don't be president if you can't kill

Mar 03, 2020 - 11:46 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte also says he does not see anyone 'fit' to serve as president after him

CONTROVERSIAL MOUTH. President Rodrigo Duterte presides over the 46th Cabinet Meeting at the Malacañang  Palace on March 2, 2020. Malacañang photo

With blood pact, new ICAD co-chair Dante Jimenez vows commitment to drug war

Mar 03, 2020 - 9:45 PM

Newly appointed Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs co-chair Dante Jimenez proves his support for the drug war with a thumbprint marked in blood

NEW ROLE. Newly appointed Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs co-chair Dante Jimenez at a press conference in Malacañang on March 3, 2020. Screenshot from RTVM

[PODCAST] How Duterte's drug list works

Feb 27, 2020 - 2:26 PM

Inclusion in President Rodrigo Duterte's drug list has been used to justify arrests and killings on mere suspicion

PNP Western Visayas clears Espenido of drug links

Feb 24, 2020 - 1:05 PM

This is the first step in Lieutenant Colonel Jovie Espenido's removal from President Rodrigo Duterte's controversial drug list

VETTED. Jovie Espenido at the Department of Justice in Manila on August 29, 2017. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

YA novel on drug war 'Patron Saints of Nothing' longlisted for 2020 Carnegie Medal

Feb 21, 2020 - 12:22 PM

Randy Ribay's book – set in the backdrop of President Rodrigo Duterte's 'war on drugs' – is among the 20 novels from around the world vying for the prestigious literary award

Cop among 357 policemen on Duterte drug list already dead

Feb 17, 2020 - 9:54 AM

According to Philippine National Police chief General Archie Gamboa, the cop was recently shot dead

DUTERTE LIST. President Rodrigo Duterte presides over the fourth Cabinet Meeting at the State Dining Room in Malacañang Palace on August 1, 2016. File photo by King Rodriguez/PPD

Big funds, little transparency: How Duterte's drug list works

Feb 16, 2020 - 7:38 PM

How did drug war poster boy Lieutenant Colonel Jovie Espenido end up in President Rodrigo Duterte's own drug list?

SECRET? President Rodrigo Duterte's drug list has been kept confidential but the public has been granted peeks into it when the administration sees it fit. Malacañang file photo

Año confirms Espenido is on Duterte's own drug list

Feb 14, 2020 - 5:30 PM

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año confirms Rappler's report that drug war poster boy Lieutenant Colonel Jovie Espenido is on President Rodrigo Duterte's own drug list

CONFIRMED. DILG Secretary Eduardo Año delivers a speech during the launching of the Inter-Agency Task Force Federalism and Constitutional Reform in Camp Crame on Monday, January 20, 2020. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

PNP allows general in Duterte drug list to retire early with benefits

Feb 13, 2020 - 8:34 AM

Philippine National Police chief General Archie Gamboa gives cops on the Duterte drug list the chance to retire early before being investigated for administrative and criminal cases

NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS. Thousands of cops gather for a program in Camp Crame, the national base of the Philippine National Police. PNP photo

Cebu cop killed during botched buy-bust operation

Feb 12, 2020 - 8:48 PM



Police arrested one suspect in the shooting, and are hunting the other 2

Drug war poster boy Jovie Espenido is on Duterte drug list

Feb 12, 2020 - 1:14 PM

One of President Rodrigo Duterte's most lauded cops is on his own drug list

GOLDEN BOY TAINTED. Controversial police officer Lieutenant Colonel Jovie Espenido is in President Rodrigo Duterte's drug list. File photo by Marchel Espina/Rappler

Gamboa warns police in Duterte drug list: If you're guilty, better retire now

Feb 10, 2020 - 6:09 PM

Philippine National Police chief General Archie Gamboa says they will not publish the names of the police on the drug list, stressing that they are innocent until proven guilty

WARNING. PNP chief General Archie Gamboa tells cops involved in the illegal drug trade to retire already. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

FALSE: U.N. chief Guterres defends Duterte's war on drugs

Feb 10, 2020 - 5:18 PM

This is a fabricated, rehashed claim that first surfaced in 2017

11 killed, 111 arrested in weeklong anti-drug sweep in Bulacan

Feb 10, 2020 - 4:09 PM

Bulacan police conduct multiple anti-drug operations from February 3 to February 9

CAMPAIGN CONTINUES. Bulacan launches a massive anti-crime drive in keeping with the President's campaign promise of intensifying the country's anti-drug campaign. File photo by Rob Reyes/Rappler

For a 'human rights culture': Group launches children's rights comic book

Feb 06, 2020 - 4:34 PM

Batang May K!, a collaboration between PhilRights and Makô, hopes to make children understand better the importance of human rights amid violations under President Rodrigo Duterte

Dishonesty, lack of transparency ‘glaring’ features of Duterte gov’t – rights group

Feb 05, 2020 - 5:11 PM

PhilRights executive director Nymia Simbulan says the lack of state accountability reflects 'how the government values and looks at human rights and human lives'

Eddie Villanueva slams drug killings, but says Duterte not to blame

Feb 03, 2020 - 9:07 PM

The evangelical pastor, now one of the House of Representatives' deputy speakers, says 'scalawag' policemen are behind the drug killings

House Deputy Speaker and JIL Church founder Eddie Villanueva discusses the bloody drug war in a speech marking the National Bible Day on February 3, 2020. Screenshot from the House of Representatives' Youtube account

Robredo to reporters: Have a stronger voice than 'heartless trolls'

Jan 30, 2020 - 6:40 PM

Enumerating her office's achievements, Vice President Leni Robredo urges journalists to help her fight authoritarianism

TRUTH TO POWER. Vice President Leni Robredo speaks at the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines' (FOCAP) annual Prospects for the Philippines Conference, held at The Peninsula Manila in Makati City on Thursday, January 30, 2020. Photo by Charlie Villegas/OVP

Still no 'meaningful accountability' over drug war killings under Duterte – Amnesty Int'l

Jan 30, 2020 - 11:16 AM

Amnesty International says that 'families were unable to obtain justice for their loved ones, due to enormous obstacles to filing cases against perpetrators, including fear of retaliation'

Condemning the killings under President Rodrigo Duterte's admininstration, relatives of victims of extra judicial killings along with human rights groups picketed the DND headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo and the Philippine National Police headquarters at Camp Crame in Quezon City. Demanding justice for their slain kin amidst the recent adoption of the Iceland resolution at the UNHRC to investigate the human rights violations and drug war related killings in the Philippines. July 17, 2019. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

'Nakilaban': Drug suspect killed in Laoag in alleged shootout

Jan 25, 2020 - 8:00 AM

The Laoag police say Andrew Ventura was Number 3 in their most wanted list for another offense – running away with a motorcycle

PDEA Bicol seizes P136 million worth of shabu at Matnog port

Jan 17, 2020 - 7:56 AM

The suspected shabu was hidden in 20 individual teabags, which weighed around 20 kilos overall and were placed inside a gray luggage bag

No letup in human rights abuses under Duterte – Human Rights Watch

Jan 15, 2020 - 11:16 AM

'The need for international mechanisms to provide accountability is as great as ever,' says Human Rights Watch Deputy Asia Director Phil Robertson

Condemning the killings under President Rodrigo Duterte's admininstration, relatives of victims of extra judicial killings along with human rights groups picketed the DND headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo and the Philippine National Police headquarters at Camp Crame in Quezon City. Demanding justice for their slain kin amidst the recent adoption of the Iceland resolution at the UNHRC to investigate the human rights violations and drug war related killings in the Philippines. July 17, 2019. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

Int'l Criminal Court: Probe of drug war continues even with Sabio 'withdrawal'

Jan 14, 2020 - 11:26 PM

(UPDATED) The Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) says a withdrawal of communication is not even allowed under the Rome Statute

Big majority of Filipinos see 'many' human rights abuses in Duterte's drug war – SWS

Jan 13, 2020 - 9:24 AM

(UPDATED) Majority of respondents in the December 2019 survey agree with the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution calling for actions against extrajudicial killings related to President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-illegal drug campaign

Families of victims of drug related extra judicial killings and human rights advocates joined together in a mass at the Commissio on Human Rights (CHR) headquarters in Quezon City to pray for the positive outcome of the deliberations for the proposed independent investigation by members of the United Nations Human Rights Council this coming July 12. July 9, 2019. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

[ANALYSIS] The stroke of genius in Robredo’s drug war report

Jan 09, 2020 - 11:29 AM

For too long Duterte’s war on drugs has hidden behind a veil of fear, lies, and misconceptions. It’s high time for facts and statistics to pierce that veil.

Robredo to Duterte gov't: Drug war data wrong? Numbers came from you

Jan 08, 2020 - 6:35 PM

'Hindi namin imbento iyong data. Iyong data, galing sa kanila,' says Vice President Leni Robredo, after law enforcement agencies claimed she got her drug war numbers wrong

NUMBERS. Vice President Leni Robredo holds up a copy of her drug war report as former Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drug co-chair on January 8, 2020. Photo by Jay Ganzon/OVP

[OPINION] Running to stand still: On U2 fans and the war on drugs

Jan 08, 2020 - 12:04 PM

Don't U2 fans who support the drug war know that many of U2’s socio-political songs espouse empathy, mercy, and compassion?

U.P. statistics professor: Robredo computed right in drug war report

Jan 07, 2020 - 8:38 PM

The Philippine National Police says Vice President Leni Robredo's computations are 'not even mathematically acceptable.' A statistician says otherwise.

CORRECT COMPARISON. University of the Philippines Statistics Associate Professor Peter Cayton says Vice President Leni Robredo deduced correctly from government data. OVP photo

After ICAD report, Duterte calls Robredo a 'colossal blunder'

Jan 07, 2020 - 8:24 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte refuses to consider Vice President Leni Robredo's suggestions, saying she has no authority to lecture him

DISMISSING REPORT. President Rodrigo Duterte lashes out at Vice President Leni Robredo after she releases a scalding report on his landmark anti-illegal drug campaign. Malacañang photo

Families to Duterte gov't: You killed our loved ones, not the drug problem

Jan 07, 2020 - 6:15 PM

The Rise Up for Life and for Rights network says the Duterte government must pay its 'bloody debt'

Families of victims of extraudicial killings call on the United Nations Human Rights Council to pursue an investigation into the rising drug war deaths in the Philippines. Photo by Micah Guiao/Rappler

Here are reforms Robredo wants in Duterte gov't's drug war

Jan 07, 2020 - 2:24 PM

From scrapping tokhang to giving more powers to the AMLC to go after drug lords, Vice President Leni Robredo publicizes her drug war recommendations

FROM HER TIME IN ICAD. Vice President Leni Robredo gestures as she discusses her suggestions to reform the war on drugs on January 6, 2020. Photo by OVP

PDEA chief: Robredo's drug war report 'a mere political attack'

Jan 06, 2020 - 6:00 PM

'She has dismissed and ignored all of our government's accomplishments and efforts for the past 3 years,' says Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Aaron Aquino

'SADDENED.' PDEA chief Aaron Aquino takes offense in Vice President Leni Robredo's drug war report. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

'It's a dud': Malacañang dismisses Robredo's findings on drug war

Jan 06, 2020 - 5:31 PM

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo says the Duterte administration will only listen to recommendations of experts who have been involved in the anti-illegal drug campaign 'from the very beginning'

Presidential Chief Legal Counsel and Spokesperson Salvador Panelo dismissed Vice President Leni Robredo's findings from her post as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs. Malacañang photo

Senators say war on drugs not a failure but a ‘constant battle’

Jan 06, 2020 - 5:22 PM

'War versus drugs fails only when you stop fighting. It's a constant battle vs drug dealers, drug dependents, corrupt officials, and cerebrally-challenged critics,' says Senate President Vicente Sotto III

'FAILURE.' Vice President Leni Robredo publicizes her drug war report on January 6, 2020, after she was fired as ICAD co-chair in November 2019. OVP file photo

Robredo wants DDB, not PDEA, to head anti-drugs body

Jan 06, 2020 - 2:30 PM

Vice President Leni Robredo says having the PDEA director general chair the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs is one of the ‘failures’ in the drug war

REMOVE PDEA AS ICAD CHAIR? Vice President Leni Robredo was welcomed by Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino during her visit to the DDB-PDEA Building in Quezon City on November 20, 2019. File photo by Jay Ganzon/OVP

'1 over 100': Robredo calls Duterte's drug war a 'failure'

Jan 06, 2020 - 1:50 PM

Vice President Leni Robredo gives the Duterte administration a dismal score in the fight against drugs, saying it was only able to seize 1% of the shabu supply in the Philippines

DRUG WAR 'FAILURE.' Vice President Leni Robredo finally publicizes her drug war report on January 6, 2020 after she was fired as ICAD co-chair last year. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

PNP now listing top 10 drug targets per region

Jan 06, 2020 - 9:52 AM

The lists will be for the exclusive access of regional and national anti-drug units, as the identified suspects are considered high-profile targets

MORE LISTS. In this photo, an alleged drug user is fingerprinted during the mass surrender of some 1,000 alleged drug users and pushers in the town of Tanauan, 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of Manila on July 18, 2016. Photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP

De Lima submitting list of ‘persecutors’ to U.S. State Department

Jan 04, 2020 - 9:01 PM

She also says she would not release her full list until the US State Department comes up with its own, so as not to preempt the agency

LIST. Embattled Senator Leila De Lima said she would give the US state department a list of her so-called persecutors. Photo courtesy of Leila de Lima Comms

PH bars entry of 3rd U.S. senator backing De Lima release

Jan 01, 2020 - 8:26 PM

(UPDATED) Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts is the author of the resolution which condemns Senator Leila de Lima's detention and denounces human rights offenders in extrajudicial killings as well as media harassment in the country

BARRED FROM PH. In this file photo, Senator Edward Markey (Democrat from Massachusetts) speaks during a news conference on June 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images/AFP

Angeles City cops seize P6.8-million shabu in buy-bust operation

Dec 28, 2019 - 2:50 PM

The suspect, Michael Balingit, is among the high-value targets in the campaign against illegal drugs in Angeles City

BUY-BUST. 13 plastics of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride were confiscated from the suspected pusher in Angeles City. Photo from Angeles City police

What we know so far: Proposed U.S. sanctions vs PH officials in drug war

Dec 22, 2019 - 5:00 PM

(3rd UPDATE) Answers to 4 questions to get you up to speed on 2 proposed measures to bar Philippine officials from entering the United States and freezing their assets there

DRUG WAR. Police officials investigate the crime scene of a buy-bust operation. File photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

'Hang me': Duterte vows to never answer Int'l Criminal Court

Dec 21, 2019 - 12:28 PM

As the possibility of trial at the International Criminal Court draws nearer, President Duterte insists only Filipinos can judge him for crimes linked to the drug war

UNCOOPERATIVE. President Rodrigo Duterte once again vows never to cooperate with foreign probes into his war on drugs. Malacañang photo

Simbang Gabi in Cebu: ‘Why are killings okay?’

Dec 21, 2019 - 8:36 AM

'If you don’t believe in human rights, you might as well not celebrate Christmas,' Father Ramon Echica tells churchgoers on the 6th day of Simbang Gabi

KILLINGS. Cebu City has seen a rise in killings since 2018. Photo by Gelo Litonjua/Rappler

National Geographic docu on PH journalists covering drug war in Oscars 2020 shortlist

Dec 18, 2019 - 8:24 AM

The final list of nominees will be announced in January 2020 yet

SHORTLIST. A documentary that trails Filipino journalists covering the 'drug war' gets shortlisted for the 2020 Oscars. Screenshot from National Geographic