Politics and International Relations
While the deadly anti-drug crime campaign of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte engendered much coverage in Philippine and international media, scientific attention has been rather low. Further, existing analyses, largely focus on providing explanations for the rash in deadly police-violence, without caring much about the quantitative details of the phenomenon they claim to explain. I argue that thereby we tend to put the cart before the horse.
My paper focuses on the analysis of these details of police use of deadly force from 2006 to 2018. It establishes a set of indicators that allow for assessing the magnitude of such violence, its relation to the threat emanating from the operational environments and its lethality. These indicators will be applied to two datasets encompassing the pre-Duterte decade and the Duterte-period and respective data from other countries that allow for an international comparison of the Philippine patterns.
The analysis will show that a) inter-provincial spatial and temporal variation of police use of deadly force has been and still is very high with high levels of path-dependency between pre-Duterte and Duterte patterns of police violence; b) the threat emanating from the operational environment of police plays only a minor role in explaining variation in the decade before and during the Duterte campaign; c) lethality has been outstanding in international comparison during the whole period analyzed (2006-2018), despite dramatically lower levels of deadly police-violence before Duterte. Then as now, the police tend to shoot-to-kill once the decision to apply armed force is made.