Rodrigo Duterte won the Philippine presidency in 2016 in part because he promised to take on the country’s traditional elites and disregard norms and institutions. The bellicose former mayor of the southern city of Davao appealed to some voters with his transgressive, straightforward and charismatic political style.

He has remained extraordinarily popular in office — a study of Philippine public opinion released in September found three-quarters of the country were satisfied with his performance — as he oversaw a war on drugs that undermined the rule of law. Indeed, the war on drugs has resulted in thousands of extrajudicial killings, according to organizations such as Human Rights Watch.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.