Violence, Human Rights, and Democracy in the Philippines

Presentation of the “Violence, Human Rights, and Democracy in Philippines” panel at the Philippine Political Science Association (PPSA) Webinar Series held on October 14, 2020.


Deadliest Place to Deal

BBC investigates the killings linked to the war on drugs in Metro Manila.

Dissecting Data: Is It Safer to Live in PH after War on Drugs?

ABS-CBN presents data on the state of killings, drug war operations, and crime rate in the country.

Duterte Drug War: Manila's Brutal Nightshift

BBC News’ short documentation of the drug war with Raffy Lerma, a photojournalist who covers the killings at night.

Duterte's Graveyard: Ground Zero of the Brutal 'War on Drugs'

The Atlantic releases its own documentary on the war against drugs of the Duterte administration.

Duterte's Hell

Aaron Goodman and Luis Liwanag document the killings on the street following Duterte’s war on drugs.

Duterte's New War

Where thousands of people have already been killed under the war on drugs, another war is launched against communist insurgents in the country following the declaration of a state of emergency in the island of Negros. Extrajudicial killings are being committed and the death toll continues to rise. 101 East takes a closer investigation on Duterte’s new war.

Duterte’s War on Drugs and Those Reporting It

Duterte’s war on drugs has already claimed thousands of lives of Filipino people both innocent and accused of using and selling drugs. However, Al Jazeera shows that media practitioners and human rights defenders too are now being implicated and accused of protecting drug suspects in the war on drugs. 

Horror of the Philippines' Drug War

Horror of the Philippines’ drug war is a documentary of CBC News following a night of the photographers covering series of murder incidents in Manila. It shows how Duterte’s war on drugs affected the lives of poor Filipinos.

Huling Gabi

In this episode of iWitness, Howie Severino further looks into the events of extrajudicial killings by interviewing families of the victims, looking at police reports, and talking with police officers and human rights organizations. 

Inside the Philippines' Bloody War on Drugs

This is a short documentary of Univision News following the start of drug war in the Philippines in the context of killings in Manila.

On the President's Orders

A full documentary by Frontline on President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war in the Philippines.

Project Duterte: Law Enforcement or Mass Terror?
(Drug Use and Trafficking Elimination through Rehabilitation, Training and Enforcement)

This documentary features cases of drug-related killings and crimes under the Duterte administration.

Remember Love

Miriam College – Department of Social Work and Department of International Studies in collaboration with the Ateneo de Manila University Psychology Department, the AKAP-Pamilya of the Diocese of Novaliches, and TAPI-Story recently launched a short film that features the memory stories of orphaned children because of the war on drugs in the Philippines. 

Rodrigo Duterte: A President's Report Card

This documentary tells the story of the first few months of Duterte in power. It contains exclusive interviews, which provides the perspective of the president on the war on drugs in the Philippines.

Rodrigo Duterte: Guns, Goons and the Presidency

This episode of 101 East follows the campaign journey of Rodrigo Duterte from being a mayor of Davao City to being a candidate for the highest position in the country. This documentary focuses on what makes Duterte different from other Philippine politicians as he promises to eliminate drugs, poverty, and corruption in the country.

The Nightcrawlers

This is a documentary by the National Geographic Channel that follows photojournalists who cover the bloody drug war in the Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte.

The Philippines' War on Drugs

This is a short account of the drug war in the Philippines. SkyNews documents the killings in Quezon City and how the urban poor has been associated with the drug trade because of poverty.


This documentary film of Alyx Ayn Arumpac tackles how the modern “aswang” or monsters haunt the lives of the Filipinos through the killings. It follows the narratives of the people including a journalist, missionary, and a street child who have witnessed and experienced the horrors of the killings and other consequences of the war on drugs. This documentary film was shown digitally during the Daang Dokyu Festival from October 31 to November 2, 2020.


The war on drugs which has taken the lives of thousands of Filipinos also left a mark on the children who witnessed the violence of the campaign. This documentary by Kiri Dalena captures the children in urban settlements who try to tell their stories and cope with the horrors they have witnessed by drawing. This documentary is currently showing at the Daang Dokyu website as part of the Daang Dokyu Festival.

music and podcasts

A Literal Drug War: The Philippines

by Jason Reed

A 53-minute podcast episode on Stop and Search about the war on drugs based on the experiences of journalists who covered the killings.


by Sining ng Kabataang Tarlakenyo (SIBAT)

A 5-minute soundtrack with verses from the short film Botak, also by SIBAT.

The boy named Kian

by Rappler

A 20-minuted podcast episode featuring the case of 17-year old Kian delos Santos whose murder at the hands of the police incited widespread condemnation against the drug war.

When an EJK victim plays dead

by Rappler

A 12-minute podcast episode telling the story of an EJK survivor’s account that belies the police’s claim that he and his friend fought back at the police which justified gunning them down.

Jee Ick Joo: The killing that stopped the drug war

by Rappler

A 16-minute podcast looking back at the controversial kidnapping and killing of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo who died at the hands of the police’s Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG).

Don't trust Duterte's drug war numbers

by Rappler

A 16-minute podcast disecting the government’s numbers on its anti-drug campaign and identifying the many concerning discrepancies.

Blood and Power in the Philippines

by The PBS Frontline

A 33-minute podcast covering the war on drugs in the perspective of a PBS Frontline reporter.


by various Filipino artists

A 12-track album backed by data and narratives on the drug war, as a result of two years’ worth of research and artistic collaboration. The album songs are based on data gathered from media reports and interviews from the communities affected by the drug war.

Can we trust the government panel probing drug war deaths?

by Rappler

A 20-minute podcast episode which interrogates the government’s move to create a panel that will investigate alleged human rights violations committed under the war on drugs four years into its implementation.

Policies beyond body count of Duterte's drug war

by Rappler

A 20-minute podcast discussing how courts and prosecutors navigate their way as they confront the flood of cases concerning the war on drugs.

Tokhang sa Tokhang

by PumaPodcast

A six-episode podcast series inquiring into the current state of the war on drugs from the perspective of various sectors; from parents and spouses to artists, community workers, and government officials.

PHOtographic documentation

In Manila, Death Comes by Night

TIME’s photographic documentation of the drug on war in the Philippines shot by James Nachtwey.

The Short Life and Complicated Death of Kristita Padual

CBC News followed the story of a dead female body slumped on a monobloc chair in the streets of Quezon City. The photographic documentation also narrates the struggle of the poor to find means to sustain funeral costs in burying their dead in the drug war. 

'They Are Slaughtering Us Like Animals'

A photojournalist’s documentation on President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal anti-drug campaign in the Philippines by The New York Times.

The Drug War

Photographer and National Geographic Explorer Hannah Reyes Morales’s documentation of the bloody ‘War on Drugs.’

War on Drugs: The First Six Months

Raffy Lerma, a photographer based in Manila covered the horrors of the first six months of war on drugs in the Philippines. He captured images of violence that reflect the bloody anti-drug policy campaign of the Duterte administration.

Duterte’s Drug War: Lies and Death Certificates

Dada Grifon’s photo essay documenting four stories of extrajudicial killings where the victims’ families were coerced to falsify their slain relative’s cause of death in their death certificates.