A Data-Driven Examination of the Philippine AntiDrug Campaign

In July 2016, newly elected President Rodrigo Duterte launched a campaign that he vowed would put an end to illegal drug use and the illicit drug trade in the Philippines. Has the campaign worked? And how has it changed the lives of Filipinos?

Photo by Reuters



Various arms of government have been mobilized for the antidrug effort. Public funds have financed it. The police say they have killed more than 4,000 ​drug suspects. In addition, more than 22,000 deaths were under investigation as of May 2018, unsolved killings that may be related to the antidrug campaign. ​The government says Filipinos now feel more safe and secure, even as it has been hounded by accusations of human rights abuses and extrajudicial killings. The complete impact of the antidrug campaign remains unclear.

In 2018, the Ateneo School of Government at Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle Philippines, the University of the Philippines-Diliman, and the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism formed The Drug Archive Philippines.

Our goal: to gather and analyze data and documents related to the antidrug campaign, and, eventually, to launch more in-depth research and gain deeper insights into the campaign’s scope and effectiveness.