Investigating Drug Related Killings in the Philippines

Today the Atlantic published the results of an investigation of the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism into the drug related killings in the Philippines: in the first 18 months of the drug war in the Philippines, the number of drug-linked homicides in Metro Manila was more than double the official police tally. In total, Stabile found almost 1,400 additional deaths solely in the three major urban areas of Metro Manila, the expansive capital region home to almost half of the population of the Philippines.

As detailed in the article, this finding was the result of painstaking research by the authors, Sheila Coronel, Mariel Padilla, and David Mora, who cross-referenced 23 different sources and conducted additional on-the-ground investigations in four communities in the capital. Sadly, the number of killings may be even higher, as statistical analysis by Patrick Ball, with the Human Rights Data Analysis Group and also a member of the Advisory Council for the Security Force Monitor, found nearly 3,000 people could have been killed, more than three times the official police count.

We were honored to be able to make a small contribution to this incredible reporting, with contextual information on the Philippine National Police as well as aiding in review of information related to killings which were publicly reported in the media. Currently, we are planning to expand upon our dataset on the Philippine National Police (first published in October 2018) with updated and more detailed information on the structure, locations and other relevant datapoints in the coming months. We hope this expanded dataset will aid future investigations in the Philippines.

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