Using the experience of Barangay Payatas under Duterte’s drug war, the study examines the continuity of violence as it manifests in a local community and as against the backdrop of state formation, rejecting the notion that violence is distributed equally across the nation thereby calling to question whether or not the administration’s drug policy is applied
uniformly rather than merely targeted to select populations. The study makes use of an ethnographic methodology supplemented with semi-structured interviews with multiple actors directly and indirectly involved in the implementation of the drug policy, field visits, and documents. Guided by the framework of governmentality, the study argues that the
moral politics Duterte used to crack elite democracy nationally and identify an immoral other whose death could be justified is rooted in his experience as a local official. In addition, by tracing the institutional mechanisms that allowed the Drug War to be implemented at the local level and the implementation of the operations themselves, the study illustrates the inconsistent implementation of the drug war across the country.