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Police vigilantism in the Philippines

PRIF-Report No. 142 on vigilante justice under President Duterte

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during a press conference (Foto: Presidential Communications Operations Office)

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during a press conference (Foto: Presidential Communications Operations Office)

The new PRIF-Report No. 142 „If they resist, kill them all“: Police Vigilantism in the Philippines analyses new patterns of state sponsored police vigilantism involving killings by on-duty police officers in the Philippines that are masked as “legitimate encounters” with criminals.

Peter Kreuzer argues that more than 1,500 suspects have been killed by police officers since newly elected Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte started his vicious campaign against drug-related crime. Using two datasets the report not only investigates this vastly under-researched phenomenon but provides a comparison of extrajudicial police vigilantism among regions and provinces as well as over time. Kreuzer suggests that the current state administration uses police vigilantism on the national level to simulate a strong state and that Dutarte's actions exhibit disturbing similarities to the ones used by Ferdinand Marcos right before the Declaration of Martial Law in 1972.

Download (pdf, 593kb): Peter Kreuzer, "If they resist, kill them all": Police Vigilantism in the Philippines,  PRIF-Report No. 142 , Frankfurt/M.