Drug-related Killings Database
Building a Drug-related Killings Database: Developing a method for recording drug-related killings
Duterte’s “war on drugs” has fostered a culture of violence and impunity that has seen an alarming increase in the number of unresolved killings. However, there is a need to probe these killings in a methodological manner so as not to cause even more confusion among a people already bombarded with misinformation on a near-daily basis. There are a number of databases and estimates of the drug war’s casualty count, but few actually take the time to explain how they come up with those numbers. This study aims to (1) develop a method in recording drug-related deaths in the Philippines; (2) to create a database of reported killings using a method developed; and (3) to identify key trends in the circumstances of the deaths and the media’s coverage of those deaths.
The main contribution of this study is neither an exact death toll nor an exhaustive record of victims but a clear set of parameters on what constitute drug-related deaths and how they can be recorded by other concerned parties. Due to practical constraints, the study was based only on the news reports of a single source. Recording drug-related killings is a step toward seeking accountability from its perpetrators. It is hoped that, through this endeavor, institutions, especially academic ones, will be encouraged to monitor killings in their localities, particularly those that are often out of the mainstream media’s reach.
Timeline of drug-related killings
Victims of drug-related killings dramatically increased at the onset of war against drugs of the Duterte administration. To show the increase in figures, we also recorded the reported drug-related killings during the Aquino administration.
Drug involvement: users, pushers and high profile targets
In this section, we try to identify the drug involvement of the victims. How many users were killed? How many were pushers? How many drug lords and high profile targets were killed?