When Rodrigo Duterte became president of The Philippines in 2016, he launched a drug war that was distinguished by his encouragement and approval of extra-judicial killings by police officials and their associates. Although widely condemned by foreign governments, this drug war, which has killed between ten and twenty thousand people, appears to retain the support of most Filipinos. Gideon Lasco is a brave scholar who has researched both illicit drug use and the drug war in his country. We talked about the use of shabu (methamphetamine) in the Philippines, why most Filipinos support Duterte’s drug war, who opposes it, how the drug war has evolved over the past six years, and the extent to which it really differs from drug wars elsewhere in Asia and other countries. I was also curious about what will happen now that Duterte’s presidential term is ending.
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