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Examining the effects of drug-related killings on Philippine Conditional Cash Transfer beneficiaries in Metro Manila, 2016-2017


Abstract and Figures

Is the Philippine War on Drugs truly a 'War on the Poor'? Focusing on beneficiaries of the Philippine conditional cash transfer (CCT) or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, we examine the effects of anti-illegal drug operations on poor families in Metro Manila from April 2016 to December 2017. From field validation and interviews with families affected by drug-related killings (DRKs), we find that at least 333 victims out of 1,827 identifiable DRK cases in Metro Manila from June 2016 to December 2017 were CCT beneficiaries. This is equivalent to anywhere from 1,365 to 1,865 affected household members, including at least two children per family. At least 12 cases involved multiple killings within the same family. These are extremely conservative figures since field validation did not saturate all cities in Metro Manila and does not include deaths after December 2017 or other poor families that are not covered by the CCT. The findings illustrate that drug-related killings negatively affect CCT beneficiaries and their families. Most victims were breadwinners, leading to a decrease in household income. The reduced available income, as well as the social stigma of having a drug-related death in the family, causes children covered by the CCT to drop out of school. Widowed parents often find new partners, leaving the children with aging paternal grandmothers. Drug-related killings are often bookended by other hazards such as flooding, fires, and home demolitions. The direct effects of these killings, compounded with disasters and other socioeconomic shocks, traumatizes CCT families, erodes social cohesion, and pushes them further into poverty. We conclude with recommendations for the design of support packages to mitigate untoward effects on families, children, the elderly, as well as single parent households.
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Examining the effects of drug-related killings
on Philippine Conditional Cash Transfer
beneficiaries in Metro Manila,
Maria Karla Abigail Pangilinan, Maria Carmen Fernandez, Nastassja Quijano
October 2019
Is the Philippine War on Drugs truly a ‘War on the Poor’? Focusing on beneficiaries of the
Philippine conditional cash transfer (CCT) or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program,
we examine the effects of anti-illegal drug operations on poor families in Metro Manila
from April 2016 to December 2017.
From field validation and interviews with families affected by drug-related killings (DRKs),
we find that at least 333 victims out of 1,827 identifiable DRK cases in Metro Manila from
June 2016 to December 2017 were CCT beneficiaries. This is equivalent to anywhere
from 1,365 to 1,865 affected household members, including at least two children per
family. At least 12 cases involved multiple killings within the same family. These are
extremely conservative figures since field validation did not saturate all cities in Metro
Manila and does not include deaths after December 2017 or other poor families that are
not covered by the CCT.
The findings illustrate that drug-related killings negatively affect CCT beneficiaries and
their families. Most victims were breadwinners, leading to a decrease in household
income. The reduced available income, as well as the social stigma of having a drug-
related death in the family, causes children covered by the CCT to drop out of school.
Widowed parents often find new partners, leaving the children with aging paternal
grandmothers. Drug-related killings are often bookended by other hazards such as
flooding, fires, and home demolitions. The direct effects of these killings, compounded
with disasters and other socio-economic shocks, traumatizes CCT families, erodes social
cohesion, and pushes them further into poverty. We conclude with recommendations for
the design of support packages to mitigate untoward effects on families, children, the
elderly, as well as single parent households.
Keywords: drug war, Philippines, conditional cash transfer, poverty, urban violence
Pangilinan: ( Fernandez: ( Quijano:
( Report includes inputs from a data manager who wishes to remain anonymous. The
opinions and conclusions expressed here are those of the authors and not those of the institutions they may be
affiliated with.
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1. Introduction
Pantawid, ime-maintain ko ‘yan. Yung
pang-ulam dagdagan mo (I will maintain
the Pantawid program. Increase their
funds for food).”
-Rodrigo Duterte, 2 February 2016
“If you know of any addicts, go ahead and
kill them yourself as getting their parents
to do it would be too painful.”
-Rodrigo Duterte, 1 July 2016
Three years since President Duterte launched the so-called ‘War on Drugs’, much
has been written regarding the degree of violence deployed by state and quasi-state
mechanisms to rid the Philippines of an alleged 3.7 million drug users, pushers, and
Approximately 29,000 deaths attributable to this Drug War have been
recorded as of July 2019, many of them from urban poor communities. Cabrera (2019)
reported that according to the Philippine National Police (PNP), 5,526
drug personalities
were killed in anti-drug operations as of July 2019, while the last reported count of deaths
under investigation (DUI) was at 23,327 cases in March 2019. Reports by international
organisations such as Amnesty International (2017) and Human Rights Watch (2017)
underscore the punitive approaches of the state towards suspected illegal drug users and
dealers. This has led different stakeholders to suggest that the ‘Philippine War on Drugs’
is a misnomer—that it is actually a war on the poor (PhilRights, 2018; Amnesty
International, 2017).
We focus on beneficiary-families on the Philippine conditional cash transfer (also
known as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or ‘4Ps’ and herein referred to as
CCT) to study the direct and indirect effects of drug-related killings (henceforth referred
to as DRKs) on the lives of impoverished families in Metro Manila during the first phase
of the Duterte administration’s anti-narcotics policy (May 2016 to December 2017). The
CCT is a guaranteed monthly cash transfer to poor households in return for their
compliance to select health and education conditionalities intended to break
Statement from a GMA DZBB radio interview by then Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as part of his Presidential
Campaign. The statement was later published on Rappler, 2 February 2016.
Speech delivered during his oath taking as President of the Philippines.
In his first State of the Nation Address in July 2016, Duterte estimated that there were 3.7 million drug addicts in
the Philippines, echoing his election campaign rhetoric of a nascent narco-state. This contrasts with the Dangerous
Drugs Board’s figures of 1.3 million drug users, or the claim of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
(UNODC) that the Philippines has an estimated prevalence of drug use rate of only 1.69 percent, well below the
overall global rate of 5.2 percent. In fact, the UNODC does not classify the Philippines as a narco state.
A presentation made by Maj. Gen. Ma-o Aplasca, chief of the PNP Directorate for Operations, in June 2019
indicated that there were 6,600 drug related deaths in police operations. This figure is 1,174 higher than the
numbers released in July 2019.
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intergenerational poverty by “keeping children in school and keeping them healthy”.
Currently, the program covers 4.4 million households, with 4.1 million belonging to the
regular CCT program while 300,000 are covered under the modified CCT (MCCT) for
homeless street families and indigenous peoples (IPs).
As of March 2018, there were
about 223,000 households covered by CCT and MCCT in Metro Manila.
As the first attempt to examine the direct and indirect effects of drug-related killings
in CCT households, we analyse patterns across cities in Metro Manila, focusing on four
case study areas: Tondo in Manila, Mandaluyong, Marikina, and Quezon City. The study
covers Metro Manila because it has the highest concentration of reported drug users
according to a 2017 statement from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
As such, we seek to answer the following questions:
1. How many CCT beneficiaries were victims of drug-related killings in Metro Manila
from 2016 to 2017?
2. Where are these CCT beneficiaries who were victims of drug-related killings
3. How does the drug-related killing of a family member affect CCT families and their
While CCT beneficiaries are only approximately twenty (20) million of the poor
population, they are the most ‘legible’ to policy interventions given that their identities and
that of their families are encoded in the National Household Targeting System for Poverty
Reduction (NHTS-PR)
and CCT databases. Scott (1998) defines legibility as the
exercise of the state of its power to document and control its population, often through
provision of social services, infrastructure, and security. The CCT remains to be the
flagship social protection program of the Philippine government and has been used in the
last decade to anchor other socioeconomic interventions. With the policy pivot of the
Duterte administration to intensified anti-narcotics operations, understanding the effects
of DRKs on longstanding social protection investments, such as the CCT, provides an
entry point for policy assessment at household, community, and national level.
It must be said that while we focus on CCT beneficiaries in Metro Manila because
they are the most legiblecohort of the country’s poor, this does not mean that other
victims of drug-related killings are not poor. Working with registered CCT households is
a very conservative estimate of the count of poor households affected by anti-narcotics
operations because it is limited to households with children aged 0-18 years old. In
addition to families without young children, the CCT lists are likely to miss recent migrants,
families in hard-to-reach communities (including the so-called ‘geographically isolated
The Modified Conditional Cash Transfer program increases the reach of the Philippine CCT by covering homeless
street families and indigenous peoples (IP) with the objective of preparing them for eventual mainstreaming to
regular CCT program. Modified cash transfers cover households which are not covered by the regular CCT such
itinerant families.
NHTS-PR or Listahanan is a government information management system that identifies who and where the
poor are in the Philippines.
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and disadvantaged areas’), as well as families that are slightly above the poverty
threshold, or the so-called near poor households.
This study stems from more than two (2) years of fieldwork in various communities
in Metro Manila. We draw our findings from three bodies of data: a list of DRKs, a
validated CCT-DRK list, and a set of key informant interviews (KIIs) with affected families.
a) Metro Manila DRK list (2,267 cases). Given the sparse and often-contested
public data on drug-related killings, primary and secondary data were collected in
Metro Manila from April 2016 to December 2017, to build a database of 2,267
DRKs. This was generated mostly from information provided by community
sources. Data validation was carried out for the DRK database through validation
of entries with online sources, specifically media reports.
b) Metro Manila CCT-DRK (333 cases). Out of a database of 2,267 DRKs in Metro
Manila from 2016-2017, an initial list of 604 possible CCT-DRK cases were
identified by triangulating community reports and the initial name-matching done
with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) field office in
Metro Manila. Field validation was done from August 2018 to August 2019 to
collect supporting information from the 604 households that were reported to be
CCT beneficiaries, particularly provision of their CCT household ID number. Due
to limited time and resources for house-to-house visits, only 333 out of 604
reported cases were validated. This resulted to a list of 333 cases of drug-related
killings confirmed to be CCT beneficiaries (CCT-DRK
c) Interviews with families (31 cases). To complement the quantitative data derived
from the 333 CCT-DRK cases, qualitative data gathering was done through thirty-
one (31) unstructured key informant interviews (KII) with families of CCT-DRK
victims in Manila, Mandaluyong, Quezon City, and Marikina using purposive
sampling. These life-story interviews were open-ended, with the objective of
understanding the impact of specific events on a person’s life and well-being. The
KIIs were conducted in close coordination with representatives of partner civil
society organizations. The common themes in the interviews were coded and used
to validate the themes emerging from the quantitative data generated from the
CCT-DRK database.
Given that a sizeable number of CCT beneficiaries in Metro Manila have been affected
by DRKs, and that these effects have led to untoward impacts on income, social cohesion,
psychosocial well-being, a number of concrete steps are recommended.
First, efforts should be made to prevent further killings, and to identify other CCT-
DRK victims outside the 333 cases cited in this study. At the same time, livelihood and
CCT-DRK refers to CCT beneficiaries that are confirmed to be DRK victims. In this paper, we use the acronym
to refer to specific individuals killed as well as their households.
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psychosocial support must be given to surviving family members, particularly to ensure
that children are able to return to and continue school—and issues such as bullying are
addressed. This should cover not only Metro Manila but all other regions nationwide. With
recent innovations using the MCCT for homeless families, indigenous peoples, and
communities affected by natural disasters, similar programming can be considered for
families who have experienced deaths due to drug-related killings, specifically solo-
parents, ageing breadwinners, and female headed households.
At the level of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD),
opportunities for programming include the next round of Listahanan assessments, which
will form the basis of a new wave of CCT programming, as well as the implementation of
Republic Act No. 11310, An Act Institutionalizing the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino
Program. Although the CCT is a national program, local government units (LGU) and
other community stakeholders can and should support these vulnerable families,
including the implementation of harm reduction programs to address the roots of drug
A policy review to protect CCT beneficiaries and sustain gains of social protection
investments must be prioritized. In line with this, the Data Privacy Act must be rigorously
enforced to protect ‘legible’ families included in government databases, particularly to
prevent their targeting or harassment by the police or the security sector. The relative
costs and benefits of each policy should be analysed, along with safety nets and support
programs to ensure that beneficiaries of social protection packages are less vulnerable
to criminality, illegal drugs, or the drug-related killings associated with the anti-illegal drug
campaign and the fallout thereof.
While these recommendations are specifically geared towards CCT beneficiaries,
we stress that they should also apply to other poor families that are not included in the
program but are nevertheless suffering due to drug-related killings in their families and
The report is structured as follows: after the introductory section is a brief review of
literature on poverty, social protection, and the Philippine Drug War. The third section
describes the methods of data collection. The results and findings are presented in
sections four and five, followed by the conclusion and recommendations.
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2. Situating the Philippine War on Drugs: between poverty reduction and increased
2.1 Vulnerability, social protection, and poverty alleviation programs in the Philippines
The Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world and second in terms of
internal displacement (Global Climate Risk Index, 2018). Exposure to various risks has an impact
on poverty, contributing to high national poverty incidence. Twenty-one percent of Filipinos still
live below the national poverty line, lagging behind other countries in Southeast Asia (Philippine
Statistics Authority, 2018; ASEAN, 2018). The Philippines is also characterized by high socio-
economic inequality, with the poorest 20% of Filipinos owning less than 5% of the country’s total
income while the richest 10% accumulate 2.7% more than the poorest 40% (Cigaral, 2017).
Approximately 15.8 million Filipinos nationwide or 38% of the labour force still belong to the
informal sector and are not fully enjoying the benefits of existing labour market interventions
(Labor Force Survey, 2016 cited in Pasion 2017).
Despite the Philippine government’s commitment of reducing poverty to 13-15% by 2022, as
indicated in NEDA’s AmBisyon Natin 2040,
which has been supported by investments in social
protection programs such as conditional cash transfers and universal health care, the poverty rate
remains high. High socio-spatial inequality, compounded by cyclical waves of natural disasters
and armed conflict, hampers efforts for inclusive and sustainable growth (World Bank, 2018a).
Metro Manila remains to be one of the largest urban centres in the world with a population
of 12.8 million (Philippine Statistics Authority, 2015). Poor families are constantly confronted with
physical, economic, social, and environmental risks. Access to basic needs and services is also
a challenge among the poor, especially for health, housing, and education. Poverty levels are
strongly linked to educational attainment, with two-thirds of poor households headed by people
with only elementary school education (ADB, 2009). Another manifestation of this gap is that
13.54% of children in secondary education are already working to help their families (Maligalig et.
al, 2010).
Social protection policies and programs in the Philippines in the last decade have been
designed to: a) reduce poverty and vulnerability to risk; b) enhance the social status and rights of
the poor through livelihood; and c) protect the poor and marginalized against hazards that may
lead to loss of income (NEDA, 2007). The Philippine Social Protection Framework is therefore
anchored on four components, namely: a) labour market interventions; b) social insurance; c)
social welfare; and d) social safety nets or social assistance. Cash transfers are one of the most
commonly implemented social protection programs, with both short-term and long-term impacts,
namely income augmentation and human capital investment. It is designed to contribute to
breaking intergenerational child poverty by investing in human capital, specifically the education
and health of children.
The Philippine CCT was first implemented in 2007 and was institutionalised into law in
2019. The CCT now benefits 4.4 million households, covering 21% of the total population and
100% of poor households with children (Acosta and Velarde, 2015). As of 2019, government
Ambisyon Natin 2040 is the government’s strategic plan focused on reducing poverty and improving the lives of
the poorest segments of the population.
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investment in the CCT totals approximately 500 billion pesos (10 billion US dollars using October
2019 conversion rates) including loans from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.
As such, the Philippine Government spends an average of 16,000 pesos per year per CCT
for the education and health of school-aged children.
Table 1 presents the conditionalities for the CCT based on the Pantawid Pamilya
Operations Manual (2014).
Table 1. Health and education conditionalities of the Philippine CCT
Health conditionalities
Education conditionalities
1. Children below 5 years old are taken to
the health station for age-appropriate
health checks and services prescribed by
the Department of Health (DOH)
2. Children aged 6-14 years old receive
deworming pills twice a year
3. Pregnant women go for trimestral
consultations during pregnancy
4. Pregnant women give birth attended by a
skilled health professional
5. Grantee attend monthly Family
Development Sessions
1. Children aged 3-5 years old enrol in pre-
school and attend at least 85% of the school
days per month (300 pesos per month)
2. Children aged 6-18 years old enrol in
elementary or high school and attend at least
85% of the school days per month (500
pesos per month).
Source: DSWD CCT-NPMO, 2014
Each child in elementary school receives 300 pesos per month while a child in high school
receives 500 pesos per month. Meanwhile, the household receives 500 pesos per month for the
health conditionalities. In 2017, under the Duterte administration, an additional 600 pesos was
provided per household for rice subsidy and 200 pesos per month as unconditional cash transfer
(UCT) to help households cope with the effects of Republic Act No. 10963 or the TRAIN Law (Tax
Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act).
Acosta and Velarde’s (2015) benefit incidence analysis of the CCT showed that the
program reduced short-term poverty by adding to the income of CCT households. Estimates show
that the CCT program reduced the national poverty rate by up to 1.5 percentage points, lifting 1.3
million households out of poverty (World Bank, 2018a). Based on the impact evaluation done by
Orbeta et. al (2014), education expenditure among CCT households is 82% higher than non-CCT
children based on annual expenditure per school-aged child. In terms of health services, 70% of
CCT beneficiary mothers delivered their babies in health facilities compared to 56% of non-CCT
beneficiaries. Furthermore, the impact evaluation also showed that the program kept older
children, aged 12-15 years old, in school.
This number reflects the cash grants alone. Actual figures in government spending are much higher when
counting other social investments such as education and health.
As the first package of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP), the TRAIN Act reduced personal
income taxes but imposed higher excise taxes on tobacco, petroleum products, high-sugar beverages,
automobiles, and other non-essential goods, leading to increases in the price of sardines, milk, canned meat, and
other basic commodities.
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Cook, Ludwig, & McCarry (2011) observe that greater household income arising from
participation in a social program can alter that household’s daily lifestyle. For example, parents
may have more time to take care of their children, which in turn contributes to children being less
exposed to crime and with fewer opportunities to engage in delinquent behaviour. Linked to this
concept of social mobility is the Family Development Session (FDS), a unique component of the
CCT. The FDS requires parents to meet once a month to discuss topics such as responsible
parenthood and financial literacy. The Philippine CCT also serves as the entry point for
complementation with other government programs such as the Sustainable Livelihood Program
and National Health Insurance Program (NHIP). The convergence of government
programs towards the CCT is intended to maximize impact and ensure that the poor and
vulnerable are given opportunities to meet their basic needs and eventually to improve their
quality of life.
2.2 Violence and the drug war in the Philippines
While social protection and poverty reduction programs like the CCT has helped poor
families improve their well-being, recent work from Albert and Vizmanos (2018) still indicate that
poverty in the Philippines remained unchanged from 2003 to 2015. There must be an
acknowledgement that despite social protection programs, the dynamic nature of poverty makes
the poor and the low-income non-poor move up and down the poverty line depending on their
exposure to numerous socio-economic shocks and vulnerabilities. This includes various forms of
violence and conflict plaguing the Philippines, ranging from petty crime to multiple ideology-based
armed conflicts.
The PNP reported that the nationwide crime rate from July 2016 to June 2018 dropped by
21.48% compared to the same period from 2014 to 2016. However, the murder rate increased,
particularly in Metro Manila by 112% with 3,444 cases from July 2016 to June 2018 compared to
1,621 murder cases from July 2014 to June 2016 (Macapagal, 2018). These sudden increase in
murder cases can be attributed to the increased magnitude of drug-related killings in Metro Manila
from July 2016 to late 2017.
Further, the “10 Point Socio-Economic Agenda” was later revised as a “0 + 10 Point Socio-
Economic Agenda”, with the zero being post-rationalized by National Economic and Development
Authority (NEDA) Secretary Ernesto Pernia as fighting criminality, corruption, and smuggling,
without which “it will be difficult for the economy to thrive and flourish and for the country to
At the community level, the pursuit of suspected drug users was operationalized by
the government through projects such as Oplan Tokhang and Oplan Double Barrel (Command
Memorandum Circular, 2016-16) of the PNP and DILG’s MASA MASID
, which serves as the
linchpin of community governance and community based drug rehabilitation initiatives of the
The current anti-narcotics campaign can be understood as a scale up of the Davao model,
The Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) is a capability building program for poor and marginalized families,
which helps them acquire the necessary assets to engage in and maintain thriving livelihoods to help improve
their socio-economic conditions. SLP has two tracks, employment facilitation and microenterprise development.
Explained in a May 2017 briefing at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN) in Cambodia (The Manila Times, 29 May 2017).
MASA MASID stands for Mamamayang Ayaw sa Anomalya, Mamamayang Ayaw sa Iligal na Droga (Citizens
Against Anomalies, Citizens Against Illegal Drugs).
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particularly with the mobilization of a coercive apparatus like the ‘Davao Death Squad’, which
Duterte relied on heavily when he was mayor (Curato, 2017; Coronel, 2017; Reyes, 2016).
Iglesias (2018) presented longitudinal data on violence in Davao City, during Duterte’s term as
Mayor, which showed that Davao displayed an odd pattern of violence compared to other regions
because of the high magnitude of violence against civilians. For the past three years, the total
number of people who died under the administration’s anti-illegal drug campaign is higher than
any national calamity experienced in recent decades. Simangan (2017) examines this as a form
of genocide with mass murder being a tool for an illusory war that strips away the humanity of
drug suspects with no one being accountable for their deaths.
2.3 Counting the dead
A major challenge for robust analysis lies in the numbers. Although the Philippine
Government has released a unified portal on the drug war,, various
instrumentalities report different figures. The PNP (2016) claimed that 93% of the 42,000
barangays in the Philippines are “drug-infested”, which contrasts with the initial report of the
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) (2016), which states that out of the 42,036
barangays, only 19,717 or 46.91% are drug affected. In the government’s Philippine Anti-Illegal
Drugs Strategy (PADS) document of 2018, the PDEA reported that this has increased to 58.01%
or 24,424 drug-affected barangays. This already shows contradictions within government itself
on the magnitude of the drug problem and how certain institutions use overstated figures to justify
the intensity of the drug war. The disaggregation of the official government data on the DRKs is
not publicly available. The PNP withdrew from the Freedom of Information (FOI) portal in March
As a response to this gap, institutions such as the Ateneo School of Government (ASoG)
conducted a preliminary analysis of 5,021 documented cases of DRK based on media reports.
While still incomplete, the ASoG database is currently the most comprehensive victim-level
database of DRKs since 2016. In the analysis done by ASoG, an estimated 47% of those killed
were found to be low-level drug suspects, with 40% of the killings concentrated in poor
communities in Metro Manila. It is worth noting that on Duterte’s first day in office, thirty-nine (39)
people were killed in immediate and simultaneous anti-drug operations. UNICEF (2018) estimates
that at least thirty three (33) children have been killed as ‘collateral damage’, while groups such
the Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center (CLDRC) estimate the death toll of children
at seventy-four (74) as of December 2017 (Child Rights Network, 2018).
Estimations made by David and Mendoza (2018) state that anywhere from 18,000 to
32,000 children may have been orphaned due to the Philippine Drug War, a number that excludes
children arrested or detained for drug-related charges. This is supported by the statement made
by former DSWD Official Hope Hervilla (cited in See, 2016) where an estimated 18,000 children
are affected by the Philippine War on Drugs based on a conservative estimate of 6,000 DRKs
from July to December 2016. However, an analysis of twenty-three (23) different datasets led
Ball, et al (2019) to note that these official and supplementary databases of DRKs are grossly
understated, and that a more accurate tally is approximately 2.94 times greater than existing
police reports.
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2.4 Measuring the effects of urban poverty and violence
These phenomena linked to the violence brought about by the drug war is not limited to the
Philippines. In the context of Latin America, the drug wars started in the 1970s with the United
States funding the campaign to dismantle drug cartels in countries such as Mexico and Colombia
(Huey, 2014). In most cases, these drug wars’ tend to be ineffective (Enamorado, et al., 2015;
Werb et al., 2011) and prone to abuse and increased violence (Vitale, 2017). Studies show that
drug wars, as in those waged in the United States, Mexico, and Colombia, often lead to violence
and human suffering, especially among the poor (Vitale, 2017; Sandvik and Hoelscher, 2016;
Werb et al, 2011). In Mexico, the drug war already registered the second highest number of
casualties for 2016 with nearly 23,000 homicides, following Syria’s 50,000 deaths during its civil
war (IISS Armed Conflict Survey, 2017). This is not only because of the tendency to strengthen
police and military power in the guise of order and public safety (Correia and Wall, 2018; Vitale,
2017), but it is also built on the concept of the criminal as the social enemy, who can then be
systematically dehumanized and stripped of rights.
The literature also points to various methods of estimating the economic costs of large-scale
violence and armed conflict. A recent development measures household-level relative economic
effects of exposure to violence and insecurity, indicates that aggregate cost of fear is higher than
that of experiencing violence (Rockmore, 2016). Because more people feel insecure than actually
experience violence, conflict-related losses continue to be incurred even after violence has ended.
Regardless of context, existing studies show the direct negative relationship between
parental death and education. The loss of a parent or household head amongst poor families
often causes a reduction in investments in children’s human capital (Gertler et al.,2006; Case et
al., 2004). Intergenerational trauma is another direct consequence of sustained violence, as in
that deployed by anti-illegal drug campaigns. Intergenerational trauma occurs when children who
witness abuses or violence possess a higher tendency to perpetrate violence later in life (World
Bank, 2011, p. 60).
3. Data Collection
3.1 Building the DRK and CCT-DRK Databases
At present, there is no complete database for the DRK in the Philippines. The PNP
releases official data for deaths in police operations and deaths under investigation (DUIs) only
as aggregates. While there are multiple databases existing across different organisations since
the Philippine Drug War started in 2016, these remain to be subsets of an unknown universe of
DRKs. The largest is the one consolidated by the ASoG based on publicly available media reports
nationwide. The ASoG database recorded 5,021 deaths nationwide in the first sixteen (16) months
of the Duterte presidency, of which at least 2,000 cases were recorded in Metro Manila. As of
April 2019, the AsoG tally has reached over 7,000 deaths.
The main challenge in doing research on DRKs is collecting and cross-referencing data,
especially as the killings still continue to date. Given the uneven distribution of partners on the
ground, more data were collected and sourced from areas where our partners have a strong
presence, particularly Manila, Quezon City, Marikina, Mandaluyong, and the area composed of
Page 11 of 43
Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, and Valenzuela (CAMANAVA). From April 2016 to December 2017,
we collected a total of 2,267 DRK cases
. Table 2 below describes the main sources of the 2,267
cases and how they were cross-referenced.
Cross-referencing with other data sources was necessary in order to remove duplicate
entries (i.e. both nicknames and full names were captured in the database). Of the 2,267 entries,
1,827D RK cases had first names and last names, making them identifiable DRK cases that can
be compared to and cross-validated with other databases. Out of the study’s DRK database, there
were 604 DRK cases that were reported to be CCT beneficiaries that needed further validation.
The initial report of these CCT-DRK cases were based on feedback by community sources and
an initial name-matching done by the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s regional
office in Metro Manila (DSWD-NCR). Out of the 604 CCT beneficiary-families reported to be
affected by drug-related killings, only 333 cases have been successfully validated
house-to-house visits and through name-matching by DSWD-NCR.
Table 2. DRK database, distribution by source
Data Source
Data was provided by various partner CSOs operating within
the communities where the DRK happened.
triangulated with
media reports
Initial data was provided by community sources. Often these
are names of victims, location of death, and date of deaths.
This information was cross-referenced with media sources.
This was provided by one police station in Manila prior to the
restrictions in data sharing on DRK.
Media Sources
The daily report on DRK posted online by media outfits such
as ABS-CBN, Philippine Daily Inquirer, and Philippine Star
Source: authors’ database
3.2 Database matching and descriptive statistics
The DRK database is sparse given the nature and sources of the data available but as
researchers, we work with what is available and verifiable. Out of the current DRK database, only
1,827 identifiable DRK cases were eligible for comparison and matching with the reported CCT
This is less than the 2,396 cases in the earlier version of the paper. The difference was a result of the validation
where two entries (often a nickname and a complete name) were validated to be the same person. These entries
were tagged as duplicates and were eventually removed from the DRK database. The database of 2,267 is the
study’s final DRK Database.
Validated CCT-DRK households are those who were able to provide their CCT-household ID number and a copy
of their ID.
Page 12 of 43
cases. The remaining 440 DRK cases did not have either a first name or last name, often they
are known by aliases or they are unidentified, which rendered these entries ineligible for the name
matching done by the DSWD-NCR
. More than a hundred cases from the name matching of
DSWD-NCR were also in 333 CCT-DRK validated cases.
The 333 CCT-DRK cases were analysed through descriptive statistics based on the
readily available variables common among all the datasets. This includes variables profiling the
possible CCT-DRK victim such as age and sex. Meanwhile, variables surrounding the DRK
incident such as type of operation causing the DRK, time of death, and location of death were
also analysed.
Figure 1. Relationships between DRK and CCT-DRK data in Metro Manila, 2016-2017
The matching results from DSWD NCR included possible matches based on name, location, and age. The
DSWD-NCR did not disclose the specific methodology used for name-matching. The transmittal from DSWD-NCR
indicated 196 possible CCT-DRK matches.
Page 13 of 43
3.3 Key Informant Interviews
The main respondents of the interviews were CCT beneficiaries who lost at least one
family member due to drug-related killings. The interviews followed a life-story format and were
carried out in four areas: the district of Tondo in Manila, Quezon City,
Mandaluyong, and
Marikina. These areas were selected purposively, based on the recommendation of partner civil
society organisations who also served as field guides to help locate and identify respondents.
Among the four interview areas, Tondo and Quezon City had two of the largest magnitudes
of DRKs in Metro Manila. These areas were also the most difficult areas to get KII respondents
because of the fear that respondents’ lives will be put at risk. In contrast, the magnitude of killings
in Marikina and Addition Hills in Mandaluyong remain difficult to establish, given that these areas
are not always covered by media reports. Due to the perception that DRKs in these two cities
were underreported, our field partners recommended that these be included as case study areas.
Respondents were selected using purposive sampling based on three factors: 1) they are
validated CCT beneficiaries; 2) their willingness to take part in the study as respondents; and 3)
their level of personal security. Since the study intended to collect sensitive and confidential
information, the safety of the respondents and field validators were top priority. We ensured that
consent forms were completely understood and signed and that aliases were used to protect
Table 3 shows that the four KIIs areas in Metro Manila have different socio-economic,
political, and hazard vulnerability profiles. These variations play a role in the way DRKs affect
CCT-DRK families. Manila and Quezon City have two of the largest populations of CCT
beneficiaries in Metro Manila, with 47,572 and 38,764 household beneficiaries respectively.
Marikina and Mandaluyong have similar physical characteristics but have very different economic
profiles, with Mandaluyong exhibiting slightly higher income because of the multitude of
commercial and business establishments in the area. However, the count of registered CCT
beneficiaries for these two areas is within the same range, which means that the magnitude of
poor households with young children for both cities is almost the same.
Since the KII areas are predominantly informal settler family (ISF) communities,
respondents are often vulnerable to numerous hazards, which include displacement, fire, and
Due to security threats received while doing interviews in Tondo, Manila and Quezon City, particularly on the
part of our community partners, we decided to discontinue doing KIIs in these areas in the course of the study.
Page 14 of 43
Table 3. Description of KII areas (Mandaluyong, Manila, Marikina, Quezon City)
Count of
/No. of
6 districts
1.78 million
42.88 km2
3 KIIs
16 barangays
2 districts
21.52 km2
8 KIIs
27 barangays
1 district
11.06 km2
18,000 km2
14 KIIs
Quezon City
4 districts
2.94 million
17,666 /
4 KIIs
requested to
be withheld
2 KIIs
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority, 2015; DSWD, 2017; Key Informant Interviews
Thirty (30) out of thirty-one (31) respondents were female, often mothers and spouses of
DRK victims. Table 4 shows that thirteen (13) out of thirty-one (31) respondents were mothers of
victims and are aged between 50-85 years old; twelve (12) were spouses and were aged between
25-50 years old; and the remaining six (6) are extended family members. Three (3) respondents
are from Tondo, Manila, eight (8) are from Marikina, fourteen (14) are from Mandaluyong, four (4)
from Quezon City, and two (2) requested their location to be withheld for security reasons. There
These vulnerabilities were identified by respondents of the KIIs.
Data as of March 2017.
Page 15 of 43
were twice as many respondents in Mandaluyong because of the proximity of the respondents’
houses to each other. Field interviews had to be cut short in Tondo, Manila and Quezon City for
the safety and security of both respondents and field guides.
The average household size for the respondents is seven (7); with the largest household
having thirteen (13) members while the smallest had three (3) members. The average number of
children in the household is five (5) and the number of eligible children per household for the CCT
is two (2). Among the KII respondents, two (2) experienced multiple deaths in the family due to
drug related killings. Three (3) cases mentioned ‘collateral damage’ during the operation, where
an additional family member was hurt but not necessarily killed.
Table 4. KII Respondents’ relationship to CCT-DRK victim
Relation to DRK
Other relative
Source: Key informant interviews
4 Results
4.1 Validation and matching of CCT-DRK cases
Examining the CCT-DRK cases against the 1,827 identifiable DRK cases (those with first
and last name) shows that the 604 reported CCT-DRK comprises 33% of the 1,827 identifiable
cases in Metro Manila. Meanwhile, the validated 333 CCT-DRK cases comprise 18% of the 1,827
identifiable DRK cases. Based on available data, a conservative estimate of 1 out of 5 DRK victims
in Metro Manila during the period 2016-2017 may be CCT beneficiaries.
Adopting these findings, and given the profile of the households affected based on the
sample, the estimated total grants received by the 333 validated CCT-DRK victims from 2013 up
to 2018 ranges from 29.57 million pesos to 37.56 million pesos (See Annex 1), or an average of
14,800 to 18,900 pesos
per household per year. This does not include other inputs built into
According to Acosta and Velarde (2015), the average CCT household has two eligible children aged between 3
to 14 years old. On the assumption that a child in elementary receives 300 pesos per month and a child in high
school receives 500 pesos per month, plus the household complies with health conditionalities for 500 pesos per
month, a CCT household receives a minimum of 12,000 pesos per year 6,000 for health (500 pesos per month
for 12 months) and 6,000 for education (two children in elementary at 300 pesos per month for 10 months)and
a maximum of 16,000 pesos per year6,000 for health (500 pesos per month for 12 months) and 10,000 for
education (two children in high school at 500 pesos per month for 10 months). Additionally, in 2017, President
Duterte instructed the DSWD (DSWD, Memorandum Circular 2017-006) to provide a rice subsidy benefit at 600
Page 16 of 43
operations under the DSWD and other government instrumentalities tasked to implement the
program. The 333 validated CCT-DRK households in Metro Manila is equivalent to a range of
1,365 to 1,865 individuals directly affected by a drug-related killing in the family.
4.2 Distribution of DRK and CCT-DRK in Metro Manila
The data shows that 61.5% of the reported DRK cases from 2016 to 2017 are
concentrated in three of Metro Manila’s biggest cities, namely Caloocan (22.8%), Manila (20%),
and Quezon City (18.7%), also the same cities with the highest population of CCT beneficiaries.
The same trend can also be observed in the 333 CCT-DRK cases in Metro Manila where 59.7%
came from the three cities mentioned - Caloocan (20.4%), Manila (19.8%), and Quezon City
(19.5%) (See Annex 2).
Available location data affirms that drug-related killings during the study period occurred
in Metro Manila’s densest slums such as Tondo, Manila, Payatas, Quezon City, Bagong Silang,
North Caloocan, and the Port Area that cuts across Malabon, Caloocan, and Manila. Table 5
shows that the magnitude of the DRK and the CCT-DRK matches the magnitude of poor
households based on official government data from Listahanan. In contrast to the high magnitude
of DRKs in the slum communities, there were no recorded drug-related killings in more affluent
areas such as the Central Business District of Makati. Instead, the DRKs in these areas are
located in the margins, often the political boundaries between cities, where pockets of poverty are
A map of DRKs and the CCT-DRK households is shown as Figure 2.
pesos per month and provide unconditional cash transfers of 200 pesos per month to ease the effects of the TRAIN
Law (DSWD, Memorandum Circular 2018-003).
The estimated number of individuals affected by CCT-DRK cases were computed based on the 2015
Philippine Census household size in NCR of four (4) family members and DSWD 2015 Listahanan Profile of the
Poor household size of six (6) family members.
Page 17 of 43
Table 5. Distribution of Listahanan identified poor and count of DRK, CCT-DRK cases per city in
Metro Manila, 2016-2017
No. of Listahanan
Identified Poor
No. of Identified
Reported CCT-DRK
Validated CCT-DRK
City of Manila
121 (20%)
66 (19.8%)
City of Caloocan
138 (22.8%)
68 (20.4%)
Quezon City
113 (18.7%)
65 (19.5%)
City of Taguig
City of Malabon
City of Valenzuela
City of Pasig
Pasay City
City of Las Piñas
City of Makati
City of Navotas
City of Muntinlupa
City of
City of Parañaque
City of Marikina
City of San Juan
Page 18 of 43
Figure 2. CCT Households Affected by Drug-Related Killings in Metro Manila, 2016-2017
Entries in the DRK database were georeferenced using Philippine Standard Geographic Codes (PSGC). A total
of 1,325 observations from the list of total DRKs for 2016-2017 had geographic data available for mapping.
Validated CCT-DRK households, on the other hand, were mapped based on the location of their residence on the
official DSWD CCT database. Centroids or the geographic centre of the barangays were used as substitutes for
the exact locations of the coordinates.
Page 19 of 43
4.3 Profile of CCT-DRKs in Metro Manila, 2016-2017
A total of 604 CCT-DRK victims were reported in Metro Manila for the period of 2016 to
2017. The validation process resulted in 333 records or 55% of the 604 reported DRK cases and
18.2% of the 1,827 identifiable DRK cases eligible for validation from the study’s database. This
section presents data on the profile of CCT-DRK families. However, the numbers remain to be
conservative because it does not discount the possibility that there are still unreported CCT-DRK
cases beyond the initial 604 cases.
4.3.1 The majority of CCT-DRK victims appear to have been killed during the first year of
the Philippine War of Drugs.
Trends from April 2016 to December 2017 show that CCT-DRK deaths took place in the
early months of the administration with the peak in July 2016, a month into the Duterte
Administration. A total of thirty five (35) CCT-DRK killings each were recorded in July 2016 and
September 2016, a trend that was sustained until the early part of 2017. However, it was in
December 2016 where six (6) victims were reported to have died in one day, the most number of
CCT-DRK casualties in a day. Incidents declined after 2016 and early 2017 (see Figure 3) but
spiked again in June 2017, two months after the re-launch of Oplan Tokhang.
Figure 3. CCT-DRK Validated Cases by Month and Year of Killing (2016-2017)
Source: authors’ dataset and graph
4.3.2 Most victims were male breadwinners, leaving behind female headed households
The sex-disaggregated data of the 333 validated CCT-DRK cases shows that 92.5% of cases
were male and 7.5% of cases were female (Annex 3). For cases where age is known, most victims
were between 30-39 years old, followed by victims aged 40-44 years old. This means that most
Page 20 of 43
of the CCT-DRK victims validated were males within the working and employable age range
(Annex 4).
Consistent with the overall profile of validated CCT-DRK cases, the KII respondents also said
that their deceased relatives were predominantly male. Of the thirty-one (31) respondents, twenty-
eight (28) said their deceased relatives were male and only three (3) said their deceased relatives
were female. Regardless of sex, however, the majority of the deceased were their families’ main
providers. Each victim was supporting at least two child beneficiaries of the CCT, often their own
A notable pattern in the KIIs was that the orphaned children are left in the care of the
grandparents instead of the widows. More than fifty percent (50%) of the respondents were
grandmothers who had to assume the responsibility of taking care of at least two grandchildren
after their children were killed in the Philippine Drug War. The pattern is when the men are killed,
their wives or partners often move out of the house and leave their children with the paternal
grandparents. From the KIIs, the widows often remarry as a means for survival. Their children,
often aged between 5-18 years old, are left in the care of grandmothers aged anywhere from 55
to 85 years old. The grandmothers no longer have stable sources of income and are often
suffering from various illnesses. They are forced to find work to have additional sources of income
aside from the cash grants received from the CCT.
Dina, 61 (interview, 5 September 2018), suffered from depression after both her husband and
son were killed in separate DRKs. Despite her diabetes and hypertension, she works as a laundry
woman so that she can provide for her grandchildren and children. Ditas,
85, (interview, August
2018) can no longer work and has resorted to begging on the streets so that she and her
grandchild will have money to buy food and pay for basic services. The authors were informed
that at least two grandmother respondents passed away due to illness in 2018.
Respondents commonly resorted to part-time work such as doing laundry for neighbours,
acting as stay-out househelp or caregivers, or selling home-cooked meals. The mother or
grandmother now solely carries the multiple burdens of providing for their family and taking care
of young children. One respondent expressed that women still do not get equal access to earnings
as compared to men. Many of the widows shared that they have a hard time sustaining rent and
food needs especially of their school-aged children. As such, the tendency is for the children to
stop schooling.
Trisha, 34 (4 September 2018), mother of five (5), said she cannot afford to send all her
children to school or feed them all. All respondents said the Philippine CCT is a big help; however,
relying solely on cash grants is not enough to cover all their needs. This entails moving out of
their homes because they can no longer sustain rent payments. They are forced to live with their
parents or siblings as a sub-household.
All of the widows interviewed were unaware of the law mandating special benefits for solo
parents. Some are not eligible for solo-parents because they were not legally married to the DRK
victim. This is consistent with the practice of common law unions among urban poor families
because of the high costs of a civil or church wedding, as well as the lack of basic documentary
requirements such as birth certificates to apply for a marriage license. Others soon lost their
eligibility because they already remarried
Ditas passed away a few weeks after the interview, leaving her grandchild a total orphan.
Page 21 of 43
4.3.3 The CCT-DRK killings happen at home and at varying times of day.
The location of death was not available for 84.08% of the 333 validated CCT-DRK cases.
However, for those with data, twenty two (22) CCT-DRK entries were killed at home, ten (10)
records were killed in the street, and five (5) were killed in a public place (Annex 7). Meanwhile,
53.4% of the CCT-DRK cases did not have information on time of death. Based on the limited
data available, probable CCT-DRK victims were usually killed in the evening (23.4%) through
after midnight (12%), between 6:00 PM to 3:00 AM (Annex 6).
The most dominant scenario is that CCT-DRK victims were killed by unidentified
assailants, followed by 31.2% of CCT-DRK victims killed by state actors in various iterations
thereof, namely: buy-busts (17.7%), shootouts, (5.4%), raids (6.6 %), issued warrant (1.2%), and
sweeps (0.3%). A remaining 15.9% of cases still have an unknown type of operations linked to
their killings (Annex 5).
Meanwhile, the pattern from the thirty-one (31) interviews
is that many of the victims
were killed in their homes or in their friends’ homes. Katrina’s 31-year-old daughter, Cherry, was
asleep on the second floor of their shanty when thirty two (32) individuals or sixteen (16) pairs of
barged into their home. Katrina recalls:
“Cherry was shot four times in the head. She was three (3) months pregnant [with]
her third child. [She] was in the barangay [drug] watchlist [along] with her partner,
Toto.” (interview, 19 September 2018)
There were also seven (7) KII respondents who said that their relatives (CCT-DRK victims)
were killed in public spaces, often along the street at close proximity to their homes. Only twenty
(20) out of thirty-one (31) were able to indicate the time when their family member was killed,
eight (8) respondents said that the DRK happened during the day and twelve (12) said their
relatives were killed either early morning or in the evening.
In October 2017, Linda, 31 (interview, 5 September 2018), witnessed her husband being shot
in broad daylight by the police. Contrary to the report that her husband owned a gun and fought
back (‘nanlaban’), she was sure he did not own a gun and he did not fight back because she was
there. The same can be said for Toni (interview, 17 August 2018), whose husband was killed in
their home during a police operation. Toni went out to buy lunch in a nearby ‘bentelog’
stall. By
the time she returned to their house, her husband was already being carried out of their house
inside a body bag. He was killed in a drug operation conducted in their home, which was marked
as an alleged drug den based on police information.
To protect the respondent’s identity, all names used in this study were not their real names
‘Riding-in-tandem’ is the local term used to describe hired killers often seen in pairs aboard motorcycles for
better mobility in during operations.
A usual meal sold for 20 pesos, which often consist of a meat viand and egg with rice. Bentelog is a
combination of the amount for the meal, “bente” and egg “itlog”.
Page 22 of 43
4.3.4 Multiple deaths within a CCT-DRK family
For the 333 CCT-DRK entries, the validation showed that there were twelve (12) cases
where more than one member of the family was killed in DRK. Eight (8) out of these twelve (12)
cases involved eighteen (18) individuals who are related as parent and children. This result was
validated with the KIIs where two (2) respondents also said they have experienced multiple
deaths. Dina, 61 (interview, 5 September 2018) recalled how she lost her husband, their house,
and her son to the drug war within the span of six months.
“We just finished [eating] dinner...around 10 PM. My husband was closing the
store when 14 people, seven riding-in-tandems, barged into our house looking
for my son [...] They shot at my husband, despite my grandchild begging them
not to shoot him. Three months after, our house was demolished for a housing
project by the LGU. We are not beneficiaries [of the housing project]. Two
months later, unknown assailants killed my son, Oggie. I also lost our sari-sari
store, which is our primary source of income. I take care of Oggie’s eldest child,
while his other children are with his in-laws. I also care for my daughter who is
deaf and has a mental disability [...] The 4Ps is a big help [because] I have no
other source of income aside from some aid from my sister, and extra money
earned from accepting part time laundry jobs.”
Another respondent, Trina (interview, 11 August 2019) lost her sister and husband in the same
month due to drug-related killings. Her son was shot in the leg during the operation that killed her
husband. Due to fear and lack of financial opportunities, Trina and her remaining children had to
move to a different city in an attempt to start a new life.
4.4 CCT-DRK families left behind
4.4.1 The CCT benefits of DRK families are not maximized because children drop out
of school
One of the trends that came out from the interviews is that children from CCT-DRK families
are at risk of dropping out of school. Out of the 62 children belonging to the 31 respondent
households, 31 are still benefiting from the CCT as of this writing while there are 19 children who
are eligible for the CCT but are not in school. An alarming trend reflects that of the 19 children
who are out of school, 9 were eligible for the CCT but dropped out after losing their fathers or
relative to DRK.
Roger, 19 (interview, 7 August 2018) said that he was about to begin freshman year in college
when unknown assailants killed his 22-year-old brother. Roger had to forego a full scholarship to
become a medical technician and stop school to help his mother in doing laundry service so that
they have money to buy food. His youngest sister is the only one in school and is benefiting from
the CCT. His brother became collateral damage for being in the same street as a suspected drug
user. Roger’s brother was shot dead on the spot along with his girlfriend.
Page 23 of 43
The inherent sentiment of the respondents is that they only get the minimum cash grant from
the CCT, which is 1,100 pesos per month (500 pesos for attending FDS and 600 pesos for the
rice subsidy), many of them are no longer receiving grants for education.
Mel (interview, 20 August 2018) expressed her frustration when two of her daughters in high
school had to drop out since their father got killed.
“I earn 150 pesos a day, not even enough to sustain our daily meals. I saved up
money so that I can buy their uniforms but they [my daughters] still dropped out.
They are both in high school... no matter how I convince them that high school is
fun; they dropped out because they were being bullied after what happened to their
father [...] Right now they are under ALS (alternative learning system). They are
supposed to get the CCT grants but now, we’re not getting anything.”
The experience is the same whether children are with the mother or with the grandmother. A
common scenario is that out of two eligible children to receive CCT grants, only one is in school
and is able to access the cash grant. Based on the KIIs, the trend for education shows that there
is an emerging pattern wherein children stop attending school after experiencing a death of a
family member due to DRK.
4.4.2 Exposure to multiple vulnerabilities
All interviewed households were from urban poor settlements. Almost all of them are
occupying houses made of light materials with no security of tenure. All of the respondents
experienced various layers of both natural and man-made disasters such as flooding, fire, and
demolition in the last two years. The loss of a family member due DRK is just another disaster
that their families have to endure. In addition to these vulnerabilities, at least half of the
respondents said they are also experiencing socio-economic shocks brought about by having a
sick member of the family. Often, the older respondents are suffering from sickness such as
diabetes and hypertension.
Lorna, 58 (interview, 17 August 2018), lost her son Kulit on September 2016 when unknown
assailants killed him. Prior to Kulit’s death, they lost their house to a massive fire that almost wiped
out their whole community in Mandaluyong. At the time of the interview, they are still rebuilding
the house they share with their children and grandchildren. Kulit left behind three (3) children
under Lorna’s care. She is suffering from diabetes and her cataracts need to be operated on,
otherwise she would go blind. They have yet to rebuild their house because without the income
of Kulit, her whole family is dependent on her husband’s income as a construction worker. Lorna
also expressed the challenge of providing for their day-to-day needs, especially for food.
“His [Kulit’s] children are teenagers, two kilos of rice does not suffice their needs,
they are all boys and they eat a lot. One is in high school, followed by one in 6th
grade and the youngest is in 5th grade. One kilo of rice is not enough to sustain our
daily needs…after their father died, I sometimes tell them to lessen [their] food
intake per meal, because we don’t have the money to buy rice.
Page 24 of 43
Aside from caring for Kulit’s three orphaned children, Lorna is also taking care of six (6) other
grandchildren from her other children.
Becoming a single income household after losing a family member to the Philippine Drug War
is a massive economic shock for a family like Lorna’s. Similarly, two other respondents, Josie and
Mel, both from a flood prone city, shared how constant exposure to flooding pushes them deeper
into poverty. Mel (interview, 20 August 2018) and her two (2) children had to evacuate their house
a few days before the interview because of severe and prolonged flooding brought about by a
tropical storm. Since her husband’s death, Mel and her two teenage daughters have been staying
with her sick father. Mel’s father’s house is also made of light materials and the constant exposure
to various elements makes living in the second floor a risk in itself. Just like Mel, Josie (interview,
9 August 2018) and her family are also used to flooding. Josie’s low-income community also faces
the threat of demolition for a road-widening project. Their house was demolished ten days after
the interview.
Majority of the respondents lamented the fact that the victims of DRK in their families were
their breadwinners; thus, their deaths were catastrophic for their families, as they were deprived
of badly needed sources of income that could have supported their family needs.
For widows like Toni, 28 (interview, 17 August 2018), her husband’s death is not always the
biggest tragedy her family had to endure. She recounts:
“[A] Few days after Jerry was killed, our house was one of the hundreds of houses
[that] got… burned down…I was not at home, so we were not able to save anything,
including Jerry’s ashes, which was on our small altar…[I] tried to save it but it’s gone.
It’s worse than the fire because not [having] his ashes meant that my young children
do not have anything to remember their father by.”
From the interviews, the emerging pattern is that poor families are also single income
households, with the head of household serving as the sole and primary breadwinner. Their poor
living conditions also trigger various health issues, especially for the elderly and the children,
which is another form of risk they have to live with on a daily basis. The experience of a single
disaster such as a flood increases these families’ vulnerability to poverty, because it leads to asset
loss, asset damage, and loss of income. Further, the little resources they have left are spent on
rebuilding their lives after the disaster.
4.4.3 DRKs can cause trauma among families and communities and is negatively
affecting social cohesion.
Due to the stigma of being associated with drug-related killings, neighbours and relatives are
afraid to associate with bereaved families, to the point that they are unable to condole at wakes.
This also leads to weaker support systems for the affected families. Children are bullied and
drop out of school. KII respondents noted that some ‘assets’ or assassins are also members of
the community, eroding trust among neighbours. One orphaned grandchild of a KII respondent
is saving up money to buy a gun so that he can avenge his father’s death. Lorna, 58 (interview,
17 August 2018) described her exchange with her eighteen-year-old grandson:
Page 25 of 43
“That’s what he wants, to be a policeman when he grows up. I told him he should study hard so
he can achieve his dream. He says he’s a big boy now, that he’s saving up his school money,
bit by bit, so he can buy a gun. That’s what he said, ma’am. So we can have something to fight
back. To go head-to-head with them. Our neighbor…he really does tokhang (drug-related
assassinations). That’s his only job. That’s why he’s got a big house now. When he killed our
other neighbor, he gave ‘charity’. He treated the neighborhood to beer. Bought ten cases for
Although most female respondents described turning to religion for support (with at least two KII
respondents converting to different faithsfrom Catholicism to born-again Christianity and
Islam in particular), the interviews pointed to emotions of anger, sadness, and despair that
remain unaddressed not only for adults but also for children.
Besides the direct and immediate effect of the drug-related killings on vulnerable families, it also
may lead to long-term traumatic effects on surviving family members and children. Ging
(interview, 11 August 2019) described how her youngest son remains quiet and withdrawn after
witnessing the death of his father almost two years ago. He himself was shot in the leg during
the incident, but was able to regain the ability to walk after extensive surgery.
5 Discussion
5.1 Drug related killings negatively affect CCT beneficiaries in Metro Manila
Working with CCT beneficiaries serves as a very conservative estimate of how many poor
people in Metro Manila were affected by DRK. There is still a high possibility that other DRK
victims are also poor. In fact, the non-CCT beneficiaries DRK victims can be far worse off because
they are not receiving cash grants from government to begin with. This can be supported by the
fact that the areas with the high magnitude of poor households, based on official government data
(NHTS-PR/Listahanan) were the same areas with high magnitude of DRKs.
With 92.5% of CCT-DRK victims being male, majority are household heads, their deaths
immediately leads to loss of household income and credit constraint. Based on the interviews, the
respondents said that the breadwinner earns between 4,000 to 10,000 pesos per month, often
from informal jobs in construction. For those who benefit from programs such as the CCT, they
get an additional 1,100 to 2,600 pesos per month depending on their compliance to program
The death of the main breadwinner for a CCT-DRK family easily means lost monthly
income ranging from 4,000 to 10,000 pesos. Further, the burden to fill in this income gap often
falls on the mother, the grandmother, and even the older children. Based on the result of the KIIs,
children, even if eligible for the CCT, tend to drop out of school because the family can no longer
support their education or they need to help with the expenses. This is a clear example of how
DRK negatively affect families of victims who belong to the CCT: not only do they lose their
Page 26 of 43
breadwinners, they also forego short-term and long term program benefits such as cash grants
and the chance of having children finish school.
Mobility is another aspect of the lives of the CCT-DRK families that is severely affected by
the Philippine Drug War. While national surveys show high approval rating on the government’s
drug war, particularly from more affluent segments of the population, it is the poor who live with
the daily risk of being victims of DRK (SWS cited in Flores, 2019).
From the interviews, it was
shared that there were cases wherein groups of fourteen (14) to sixteen (16) unknown assailants
were involved in the DRK of a single individual. This shows that these ‘operations’ involved people
working in groups. The culture of fear is heightened with the idea that large groups of unknown
assailants are locating suspected drug users in a community.
Results show that many of the recorded CCT-DRK incidents and operations happen at
night, with close to 35.4% of the CCT-DRKs happening in the evening through after midnight,
between 6:00PM to 3:00 AM. In Marikina, since the killings happen as early as 6:00 PM, the
residents in dense informal communities would stay home early. People who earn a living as
market vendors, jeepney barkers, and pedicab drivers would often forego these jobs to avoid the
risk of being a victim of DRK. The limited resources available for social welfare programs like
employment facilitation and microenterprise development also meant that there will be limitations
in terms of finding alternatives to these foregone livelihood opportunities. All the KII respondents
shared that they have to adjust their lifestyles, often forgoing other economic opportunities to
avoid further risks of being victims of DRK like their relatives. The fear of being victims already
has corresponding economic costs (Rockmore, 2016), especially on the part of households and
communities with high incidence of DRK.
The KIIs in the four case study areas showed that the type of operation varies per area
depending on the actor and the way the community adapts to the onslaught of DRK. In areas like
Manila, majority of DRKs are police operations, which makes it riskier for individuals who are
known or identified in the community because they can easily be put on the list of suspected drug
users. The Philippine Drug War has turned informal communities into unsafe spaces, to the point
that even their own homes no longer guarantee protection from DRK. The Philippine Drug War
did not only limit the mobility of the poor, it also limited the already limited space available to them
and the corresponding economic opportunities available in these spaces.
The results also showed that DRKs, and the violence brought about by the Philippine Drug
War also erode social cohesion, or the trust between community members, and between the
community and the state. In addition to the climate of fear, CCT-DRK families also have to live
with the stigma of having a family member who was killed for being a suspected drug user. Such
stigma contributes to the shrinking of the social space they occupy in their communities as well
as their ability to access various social services such as burial assistance. In the interviews, it was
evident that some of the informants and even the perpetrators in the DRKs were from the same
communities as the victims.
Many male children in Philippine urban poor communities aspire to become policemen
when they grow up because mainstream media presents the image of benevolent policemen who
A June 2019 poll fielded by the Social Welfare Survey states that 82 percent of adult Filipinos were satisfied
with the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs while 12 percent were dissatisfied.
Page 27 of 43
protect communities. With the increase in deaths from anti-illegal drug operations, these children
are brought to think that the same policemen they look up to are responsible for the killings in
their neighbourhoods. This perceived lack of due process and justice informs children’s idea of
society. Many of the CCT-DRK families interviewed hesitate from reporting the DRKs for fear of
retribution from the killers and the lack of confidence in the justice system.
5.2 Drug related killings negate the gains of the CCT for DRK families
The Philippine CCT remains to be the flagship social protection program of the
government, with 4.4 million household beneficiaries. The overall goal of the program is to
improve the well-being of poor families by ensuring that their children are in school and are kept
healthy. The CCT works in convergence with other social protection programs within and outside
the DSWD such as the community driven development program, SLP, and NHIP.
Massive investments have been made to ensure that the approximately eleven (11) million
children benefiting from the program will finish high school. Impact evaluations of the CCT
program already showed positive results in terms of keeping older children in school, ensuring
that they receive proper nutrition, and that they remain hopeful in improving their lives. The benefit
incidence analysis (Acosta and Velarde, 2015) showed that the CCT cash grants were mostly
spent on food (49%) and education (25%), which is a big help in augmenting household income.
The initial evidence showing that the DRK and CCT-DRK are heavily concentrated in poor
areas with multiple vulnerabilities further supports the argument that drug related killings is an
attack on the poor, particularly the children. The DRKs negate the gains of the program for the
CCT-DRK families, because instead of keeping children in school, the loss of family members
due to DRK make CCT children drop out of school. This also adversely affects the family because
the shift to single parent households often pushes the older children to work while the remarriage
of widows separates them from their children, thus affecting social cohesion.
Aside from the obvious loss of income with the loss of the main income earner, the families
also face the risk of losing the cash grants because of failure to comply with CCT conditionalities
for health and education. Based on the thirty-one (31) KIIs, 19 out of 50 or 38% of children eligible
for the CCT were not in school. This can be attributed to the period of grief, compounded with the
trauma and the stigma of being children of Tokhang victims’, which can deter these children from
going back to school. This is exacerbated by the trauma endured by the children for losing a family
member in violent circumstances--or even witnessing the actual DRK. For the women, since they
now have to work, mothers and grandmothers often fail to meet health conditionalities when they
miss out on attending the monthly FDS.
Some families were unable to relocate despite being confronted with threats and are
forced to remain in the same informal communities because they have no money to leave and
are unwilling to abandon the meagre jobs they have only to face rural poverty. Affected families
also experienced difficulties in accessing government services such as death or burial assistance
or benefits for new single parent households due the stigma of their kin being targeted in drug-
related killing. Families who do have the wherewithal to flee often do not update their new
addressesmaking the monitoring of their compliance to CCT conditionalities difficult, if not
impossible for the DSWD to track.
Page 28 of 43
Being on the side of the ‘informal’ also makes it easy for the state to generalize informal
settler families as ‘undesirables’ because of their proximity to crime and violence. Their
‘undesirable’ status makes them vulnerable to abuses such as the sudden demolition of their
homes due to lack of tenure, and drug related violence because the state draws linkages between
poverty, drug use, and crimewherein the poor are often seen as drug users and criminals. This
was evident in the experience of the CCT-DRK families who participated in the study.
This current administration’s policy shift from one that is centred on social protection
towards a punitive one geared towards anti-narcotics policies comes with a narrative that confines
the drug problem within the auspices of slums and the informalwith the poor being typecast as
drug users and criminals. The same narrative linking the “drug problem” with poverty helped
rationalize state-sanctioned violence, which was supported by almost 40% of the recorded DRK
being carried out by state actors (Mendoza, 2018). The uncertainty of housing tenure also means
uncertainty of being recognized by the state as ‘citizens’ eligible for various forms of social
assistance and services.
5.2.1 Feminisation of responsibility: the rise of female-headed households
The direct consequence of the deaths of breadwinners and household heads is that women,
either widows or grandmothers, are left with the burden of providing for the families and raising
the orphaned children. Chant (2014) referred to this as the feminisation of responsibility, wherein
women now assume greater liability for dealing with poverty. In the face of the Philippine Drug
War, women are now faced with the responsibility of productive and domestic labour. With few
skills, limited education, and low job prospects, many DRK widows are forced to find new
husbands to ensure a source of income.
As other offspring are not always welcome in the new household, children from a previous
marriage are left with the grandparents. In the case of CCT-DRK households, the grandmother is
often registered as the primary grantee has responsibility over the children beneficiaries of the
program left under their care. This scenario is encapsulated in the Filipino phrase, which was
repeatedly mentioned in the course of data collection, Si tatay sumakabilang buhay, si nanay
sumakabilang bahay, si lola ang naiwan(“Dad crossed over to the afterlife, mom moved to
another house. Only grandma is left.”)
Aligned with the findings that majority of the victims were male heads of households, the
natural consequence is the rise of female-headed households. The loss of male household heads
meant single parenthood for the spouses, or additional responsibilities for the paternal
grandparents. By design, CCTs are supposed to keep children in school because the cash grants
augment income gaps needed to help a child finish school. However, with the deaths of household
heads due to DRK, the income gap widens, and families are often forced to sacrifice the education
of children so that resources can be spent for food and other more immediate needs.
The DRK is an economic shock that highlights the limited social protection programs available
to the poor, especially for women. While it is recognized that there should be equal opportunities
for men and women, the reality is that women do not have the same opportunities as men,
especially in urban slums (Chant, 2014). This is why the women left behind because of DRK are
often left with limited choices, such as doing domestic labour as manifested by the experience
and current situation of CCT-DRK widows and parents.
Page 29 of 43
5.2.2 Orphaned children drop out of school
With an average of two (2) children enrolled in the CCT, the 604 reported CCT-DRK cases
and the validated 333 CCT-DRK cases meant that for Metro Manila alone, a conservative
estimate of 600 to 1,200 children beneficiaries were directly affected by the DRK. Accessing the
benefits of the CCT is anchored on the household’s compliance to set conditionalities. With the
DRK serving as a massive socio-economic shock to a CCT household, children belonging to
these households are at risk of dropping out of school and not receiving the cash grants. This is
consistent with related literature that finds the death of a parent reduces a poor family’s spending
on education and human capital (Gertler et al., 2006; Case et al., 2004).
Combined with new national policies which reallocate investments to peace and security
initiatives and infrastructure rather than social protection programs, the Philippines is lagging
behind according to global standards
(ADB, 2013 cited in Diokno-Sicat & Mariano, 2018). The
failure to maximize investments in human capital of poor families may lead to chronic poverty.
Instead of creating programs that would contribute to improved quality of life through poverty
reduction, the current administration has decided to invest in policies like the Philippine Drug War,
which exacerbates the degree of poverty experienced by the poor especially at the household
In the long term and within the framework of social protection, the initial effect of DRK in a
poor household, particularly CCT beneficiaries, is a manifestation of what Albert and Vizmanos
(2018) described as capability deprivation. The children and other members of the households
may be deprived of the opportunity to improve human capital because they had to stop school
and/or start working in order to fill in the income gap brought about by losing a family member to
Aside from capability deprivation, the CCT families victimized by DRK also experience
optimism deprivation, which is heavily linked to the fact that 31.2% of CCT-DRK involved police
operations, hence the elusive prospect of receiving justice for their families, especially when the
DRK victims are seen as perpetrators and criminals instead of victims. This narrative takes the
attention away from the State’s failure to provide services and security for the poor and
marginalized. This form of optimism deprivation is also linked to the children’s outlook with regards
to school attendance, since the trauma of losing a family member to DRK impacts the children's
psychosocial wellbeing. According to the KIIs, there were cases where children completely drop
out of school often due to the combination of trauma and financial difficulties.
5.3 Legibility of CCT beneficiaries is a community disadvantage
The targeting of eligible beneficiaries is critical in implementing social protection programs.
From the perspective of Scott (1998), this is tied to legibility, or the exercise of the state of its
power to document and control its population. The poor are often illegible to the state, making
them predominantly unprotected from violence and other forms of abuses. Programs like the CCT
make the poor legible because they are captured in various state systems and they benefit from
the state’s programs and services. Lists of CCT beneficiaries are made available to the barangay
The ADB social protection index (SPI) is computed from total expenditures on social protection divided by the
total number of targeted beneficiaries of all social protection programs. The Philippines’ weighted SPI (2.1% of
GDP per capita) is below average.
Page 30 of 43
and the local government unit because they are the DSWD’s partners in implementation. While it
is beneficial on the part of the poor to be legible so that they may access the various social
services offered by government, being legible also has its disadvantages especially when existing
state systems become prone to abuse.
In the context of the Philippine Drug War, the data from the CCT-DRK validation shows
that the CCT-DRK were killed in the first six (6) months of the anti-illegal drug campaign (July to
December 2016). While institutional structures to operationalize the Philippine Drug War are being
developed, there is a strong indication that available lists of CCT beneficiaries are being used as
a source of information in identifying the location of suspected drug users and dealers in urban
poor communities in Metro Manila. Their legibility to the state is another negative effect of DRKs
on CCT beneficiaries because it increases their risk of being targets in anti-illegal drug operations.
6 Conclusions and Recommendations
The available evidence shows that drug related killings negatively affect the poor
in Metro Manila, specifically CCT-DRK beneficiaries. Based on evidence from Meto
Manila, and the focus cities of Manila, Marikina, Mandaluyong, and Quezon City, incidents
are concentrated in urban poor settlements, which are often sites of land tenure
informality and hazard vulnerability. By killing mostly male heads of household, the effect
and magnitude of the anti-narcotics campaign—compounded by various socio-economic
shocks including damage to homes due to fires and flooding—pushes already-deprived
and vulnerable families further into poverty.
Killing CCT-DRK beneficiaries cancels out efforts for social protection and human
capital formation especially when beneficiary children drop out of school due to trauma
or lack of financial support. Despite the CCT's official role as the flagship government
program for poverty reduction and social protection, early evidence suggests that the
more than 500 billion pesos invested in beneficiary households over the last decade is
being negated by the DRK. Killing heads-of-household radically reduces a household’s
income for food, clothing, shelter, and health. It makes the children more likely to drop out
of school, thereby heightening the risk of child labour and exploitation. As a state-
sponsored policy that encourages neighbourhood reporting against ‘drug personalities’,
DRKs also undermine the CCT’s efforts to build social cohesion through its Family
Development Sessions.
Trust is eroded between neighbours, as is the trust of the
community in the State.
The DILG’s guidelines for MASA MASID includes the set-up of a system where all community members are
invited to provide anonymous information about drug suspects through various platforms, including a phone or text
hotline, a physical dropbox, and/or an email address where residents can report names and addresses without fear
of reprisal (or objective proof). While barangay officials are supposed to validate reports provided by community
informants before transmitting them to the police, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, or the DILG, this may
be vulnerable to error or abuse (Villalon, et al, 2018).
Page 31 of 43
With the midterm reviews of the Philippine Development Plan and other programs
presently on-going, the opportunity is ripe to review the evidence if the benefits of DRK
truly outweigh the costs. The International Criminal Court (ICC) has since opened an
investigation on these drug-related killings, which prompted the Duterte administration to
unilaterally withdraw its ratification of the Rome Statute. As President Duterte’s statement
in the 2018 State of the Nation Address (SONA) illustrates— “Your concern is human
rights. Mine is human lives,”— drug suspects are not considered humans, thus, deemed
not entitled to any rights in the policy framework of this Administration. In July 2019, the
UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution which, among others, asked the UN rights
chief Michelle Bachelet to prepare a comprehensive report on the ongoing killings in the
Philippines, and recommend measures to address human and child rights violations.
Nevertheless, beyond purely ‘human-rights’ centred discourse, which has been
undermined by state rhetoric, the consequences of the DRK must be understood as a
major humanitarian crisis, as the death toll of 29,000 amassed in just over three years
already rivals that of Martial Law under the Marcos Regime, the wars in Mindanao, or
natural disasters such as Tropical Storm Haiyan (Fernandez and Pangilinan,
As such, the following concrete steps are recommended:
1. Efforts should be made to prevent further drug related killings. At the same time,
the current negation of benefits of CCT households who lost kin to DRK should be
Given the resource and limitations of the study, the 333 validated households in Metro
Manila we have identified are likely only to be a small subset of the CCT beneficiaries
that may have been affected by drug-related killings. As such, DSWD should take steps
to identify other affected poor families not only in Metro Manila but in other regions
The available evidence shows that a sizeable number of CCT beneficiaries in Metro
Manila have been affected by DRK, and that these effects have led to untoward impacts
on income, social cohesion, psychological health, and the overall program goal of
breaking intergenerational poverty by keeping children healthy and in school. Further
deaths need to be prevented, and support must be provided to those left behind. Specific
monitoring and case management tools must be developed and implemented for children
Despite the Iceland resolution’s urge to the Philippine government to refrain from ‘all acts of intimidation or
retaliation’, the Office of the President has since issued instructions to all government instrumentalities to “suspend
negotiations for and signing of, all loan and grant agreements with the governments of the countries that co-
sponsored and/or voted in favor of the aforesaid resolution,” pending assessment of relations with these countries
(DOF, 2019).
Page 32 of 43
orphaned due to DRK, to ensure that children are able to return to school and issues such
as bullying are addressed.
It is highly likely that many of these challenges will morph over time given that anti-
narcotics operations are still on-going. The results also raise questions for future
research, particularly on expanding the analysis on DRK-affected CCT beneficiary-
families outside NCR, which would facilitate discussions on regional variations and
morphing of urban violence during anti-narcotics operations. A longer and more
expansive dataset would also allow studies on phenomena such as ‘palit-ulo’ and ‘palit-
, which highlights the ease with which punitive policies can be twisted and abused.
2. Psychosocial interventions must also be put in place.
Given that children and youth are being exposed to the killing of family members and
neighbours on a regular basis, the effects of transgenerational trauma and how it
contributes to intergenerational poverty will need to be factored in the design of programs
for addressing the fallout in the years to come.
3. The CCT eligibility criteria especially for urban areas should factor in sub-
households, solo parents, and other female-headed households.
Two policy opportunities to include the next round of Listahanan assessments, which will
form the basis of a new wave of CCT programming as well as the implementation of
Republic Act No. 11310, An Act Institutionalizing the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino
4. Existing mechanisms under the government can be retooled to address these
Although the trend has been to decrease the budget for assistance given to individuals in
crisis situations (AICS), this may be revisited by the current administration. With recent
support service innovations using the MCCT for homeless families, indigenous peoples’
groups, or in situations of natural disasters, similar programming can be considered for
families who have experienced deaths due to drug-related killings.
Judicious use of cash-for-work and unconditional cash transfers may also be considered.
This may be considered viable as the numbers of national drug-related deaths and
affected families are comparable to or possibly higher than any major natural calamity or
armed-conflict related disaster in recent decades.
Palit-ulo (‘head swap’) is a practice linked to the drug war wherein another victim is killed, often a family member,
in exchange for the initial target. Meanwhile, palit-puri (‘sex swap’) is linked to reports involving police officers who
sexually abuse and rape drug personalities, wives, or female children of suspected drug personalities in exchange
for dropping the drug-related charges.
Page 33 of 43
5. Although the CCT is a national program, local government units (LGU) and other
community stakeholders can support these vulnerable families.
This can be done through livelihood programs for single parents, aging breadwinners,
and female-headed households, scholarships for children, as well as harm reduction
programs to address the roots of the drug problem.
6. A policy review to protect beneficiary-families and sustain gains of social
protection investments must be prioritized. In line with this, the Data Privacy Act
must be rigorously enforced to protect ‘legible’ families particularly those included
in government databases such as the Listahanan or lists of drug surrenderees or
former combatants and their families.
The relative costs and benefits of each policy should be analysed, along with safety nets
and support programs to ensure that beneficiaries of social protection packages are less
vulnerable to criminality, illegal drugs, or the drug-related killings associated with the anti-
narcotics campaign and the fallout thereof.
Ultimately, these analyses of DRK impacts should focus on their effects on children,
women, senior citizens and other vulnerable populations and lead to the design and
implementation of support packages for those left behind.
Page 34 of 43
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Villalon, M., Pangilinan, A. and Fernandez, I. (2018). Barangay officials make tough choices in
the drug war. 16 May. [online] CNN Philippines. Available at:
[Accessed 21 Dec. 2018].
Vitale, A. (2017) The end of policing. London: Verso.
Werb, D., Rowell, G., Guyatt, G., Kerr, T., Montaner, J., and Wood, E. (2011) Effect of drug law
enforcement on drug market violence: A systematic review. International Journal of Drug
Policy, 22(2), pp.8794. Available at:
Page 37 of 43
[Accessed 1 Nov. 2018]
World Bank. (2011a) World Development Report: Conflict, Security and Development.
Washington: The World Bank.
World Bank. (2011b) Violence in the City: Understanding and Supporting Community Responses
to urban Violence, Washington DC.
World Bank. (2018a) Making Growth Work for the Poor: A poverty Assessment for the Philippines.
World Bank: Washington DC.
World Bank. (2018b) Republic of the Philippines Philippines : Social Protection Review and
Assessment, World Bank: Washington DC.
Data Sources for Drug War Victims
ABS-CBN News. (2017) MAP, CHARTS: The Death Toll of the War on Drugs. [online] Available
[Accessed 13 Aug. 2017].
Philippine Daily Inquirer (2017) THE KILL LIST. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 September 2018]. (2017). - Paalam Sa Mga Pinaslang. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 September 2018].
Confidential Sources
Other Data Sources
Department of Social Welfare and Development, name-matched CCT beneficiaries with DRK
DSWD National Household Targeting Office
Key Informant Interviews
Government Reports
DILG Memorandum Circular 2016-116
Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program Operations Manual, Quezon City: DSWD and World
Listahanan count of Poor households in Metro Manila, DSWD, December 2017
Philippine National Police Command Memorandum Circular No. 16-2016
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Annual Reports
Philippine National Police Annual Reports
NEDA Social Protection Framework
AmBisyon Natin 2040
Page 38 of 43
8 Annexes
Annex 1. Estimate of CCT benefits received by possible CCT-DRK households,
2013-2018 (in Philippine pesos)
The computations below show the minimum and maximum amount of grants a typical family would receive yearly
from 2013 to 2018 applied to the 333 possible CCT-DRK households. The minimum grant amount includes 2
elementary children covered by an education grant, Health/FDS grant, Rice Subsidy, and the Unconditional Cash
Transfer (UCT). The maximum grant amount includes 2 high school children covered by an educational grant,
Health/FDS grant, Rice Subsidy, and the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT).
2 Children
Rice Subsidy
Cash Transfer
No. of CCT-
DRK validated
2 eligible (High
Rice Subsidy
Page 39 of 43
Cash Transfer
No. of CCT-
DRK validated
Annex 2. Distribution of CCT-DRK Reported Cases and CCT-DRK Validated
Cases, per city, Metro Manila, 2016-2017
Count of
Count of
City of Manila
City of Mandaluyong
City of Marikina
City of Pasig
Quezon City
City of San Juan
City of Caloocan
City of Malabon
City of Navotas
City of Valenzuela
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Count of
Count of
City of Las Pinas
City of Makati
City of Muntinlupa
City of Paranaque
Pasay City
City of Taguig
Annex 3: Distribution of CCT-DRK possible victims by Sex, 2016-2017
Count of CCT-DRK
Validated Cases
% Total
Page 41 of 43
Annex 4. Distribution of CCT-DRK possible victims by Age Group
Age Group
Count of CCT-
DRK Validated
% Total
No Data Available
Page 42 of 43
Annex 5. Distribution of CCT-DRK validated cases by type of operations causing
death, 2016-2017
Type of Operations Causing CCT-DRK
Count of CCT-DRK
Validated Cases
% Total
Buy Bust
Issued Warrant
Unidentified Assailant
Body Discovered away from crime scene
No Data Available
Page 43 of 43
Annex 6. Distribution CCT-DRK probable victims by Time of Death
Time of CCT-DRK Death
Count of CCT-DRK
Validated Cases
% Total
Early Morning (03:01 to 07:00)
Morning (07:01 to 12:00)
Afternoon (12:01 to 18:00)
Evening (18:01 to 00:00)
Midnight (00:01 to 03:00)
No Data Available
Annex 7. Percentage Distribution of CCT-DRK probable victims by Location of
Location of CCT-DRK Death
On Street
Government Facility
Public Place
Near a school
No Data Available
... As a means to protect life, he has rationalized killing alleged drug addicts with impunity. However, the victims are mostly from the most vulnerable sectors (Fernandez, Pangilinan, & Quijano, 2019). Meanwhile, despite mounting deaths, the popularity of Duterte remains. ...
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Regenerative documentary is generated by a composite unity that comprises the living system of resistance in the Philippines. It takes into account the contingent, illustrated by artist groups—Respond and Break the Silence over the Killings (RESBAK), Sandata, and Gantala Press—that converged with the living system of resistance where and when human rights was curtailed by an environment of impunity, systemic poverty, social inequality, and injustice. The purpose of regenerative documentary is to identify and make known that a system of resistance exists and it is living. By harnessing the ideas of narrative, emergence, and ethicality espoused by autopoiesis and critical posthumanism, regenerative documentary situates its expediency within the context of the Philippine human rights violations under the Duterte regime as a transformative critical posthuman art.
... Source: Pangilinan, Fernandez, and Quijano 2019 Many deprived areas with high frequency of drug-related killings overlap with Metro Manila's COVID-19 hotspots, as these informal spaces do not provide families with the necessary preconditions to practice physical distancing and other health protocols to protect themselves from COVID-19. With large family sizes and constricted spaces, almost 30 per cent of families in Metro Manila are physically unable to comply with standard social distancing measures, with 14.4 per cent of families living in shanties with a floor area of 9 square meters or less (Philippine Statistics Authority 2010) The same poor neighbourhoods who faced the trauma and violence brought about by drug-related killings are now facing strict checkpoints manned by police and military personnel tasked to enforce the quarantine. ...
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Urban post-crisis response in the Philippines is characterised by an approach to spatial governance that excludes and alienates people from decision-making in ways that can be described as punitive. By engaging the interplay of spatiality and power-knowledge, we argue that discourses, institutions, and projects operating before, during, and after complex crises are maladaptive and are driven by heavily securitised notions of safety in cities. In the Filipino vernacular, this can be summarized as gunpowder and cement urbanism--a belief that complex emergencies can be solved by megaprojects, urban warfare, or putting the poor in the grave. We focus on two cases: Marawi City and the effects of protracted urban warfare and typhoons on its displaced population, and Metro Manila, whose poor communities face both environmental hazards and ‘slow-burn’ shocks like state-sanctioned killings. In both cases, the Philippine model of gunpowder and cement urbanism has serious implications on responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. We conclude by positing how community and private sector efforts provide for more participatory and localised forms of urban decision-making and practice.
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Since the newly elected Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte took office in June 2016, more than 7,000 deaths have been linked to his ongoing “war on drugs.” Despite international condemnation of extrajudicial and vigilante killings, the statistics show no sign of slowing down and the administration remains firm in eradicating people engaged in illegal drugs. This article inquires whether the Philippine “war on drugs” is an act of genocide using Gregory H. Stanton’s stages of genocide. Based on data drawn from news articles, policy issuances, government briefings, public speeches and available drug-related statistics, this article argues that Duterte’s rhetoric and policies satisfy the stages of classification, symbolization, dehumanization, organization, polarization, preparation, extermination and denial. The analysis in this article hopes to send a message to the international community, civil society and the Philippine government that the human rights situation related to the “war on drugs” in the Philippines needs to be addressed immediately. It also aims to demonstrate the utility of Stanton’s stages in identifying early warning signs of genocide.
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This article argues that, in Duterte’s “war on drugs”, state power is exercised through the body in a spectacle of humiliation and violence. The analysis draws from the work of Foucault (1979) on the political value of a spectacle of the body to explain the distinctive character of Duterte’s violent war on drugs; of Feldman (1991) on the use of the body as an object in which violence is embodied to send political messages; of Agamben (1995) on eliminating life supposedly devoid of value; and on Mumford et al. (2007), who pointed to the popularity of “violent ideological leaders.” I argue that, under the Duterte administration, criminals are humiliated and killed in a spectacle of violence that politicises their lives, sending a message that intimidates others. In the process, law-abiding citizens are meant to feel safe, which is seen as likely to increase the newly elected president’s popularity and his power as chief executive. Duterte has thereby politicised life, not only putting criminals outside the benefit of state protection but actively targeting them. Duterte is the first mayor and president to have actively targeted criminals and, in doing so has encouraged other politicians to follow his example. The politicisation of the bodies of criminals is distinctive in Duterte’s form of violence. This article is drawn from data sets of individual killings when Duterte was either serving as or acting behind the mayor of Davao, and compared with cases of drug-related killings since he became president on 30 June 2016. © 2016, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies. All rights reserved.
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The War on Drugs has had grave humanitarian consequences for Latin America. It has encouraged a highly militarized and ultimately unsuccessful approach to drug control, leading to violence, displacement, and human suffering throughout the region. In acknowledging and responding to this suffering, humanitarian organizations have recently begun to frame this situation as a “humanitarian crisis” to facilitate humanitarian entry into new spaces. There is a need for a conceptual conversation about the use of the label “humanitarian crisis” in reference to the human costs of the War on Drugs in Latin America, particularly its rhetorical and normative use by the media and civil society and its strategic and moral use by humanitarian actors. La Guerra contra las Drogas ha tenido grave consecuencias humanitarias para América Latina. Ha promovido un enfoque altamente militarizado y en última instancia fallido, para controlar las drogas, lo que ha provocado violencia, desplazamientos y sufrimiento humano a través de la región. Como reconocimiento y respuesta a este sufrimiento, las organizaciones humanitarias recientemente han empezado a plantear esta situación como una “crisis humanitaria” para así facilitar la entrada humanitaria en nuevos espacios. Es necesario que se dé una conversación teórica sobre el uso de la categoría “crisis humanitaria” en referencia a los costos humanos de la Guerra contra las Drogas en América Latina, especialmente su uso retórico y prescriptivo por parte de los medios de comunicación y la sociedad civil y su uso estratégico y moral por parte de los agentes humanitarios.
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore links between a revisionist view of the “feminisation of poverty” in developing countries and women’s work and home-based enterprise in urban slums. Design/methodology/approach – The paper’s discussion of the “feminisation of poverty” draws substantially from ethnographic field research conducted in The Gambia, The Philippines and Costa Rica. This research led the author to propose the notion of a “feminisation of responsibility and/or obligation”. The latter approach draws attention to issues such as gendered disparities of labour, time and resource inputs into household livelihoods, which are often most marked in male-headed units, and are not captured in conventional referents of the “feminisation of poverty”, which are rather narrowly confined to incomes and female household headship. Findings – An integral element of the author’s critique is that the main policy response to classic “feminisation of poverty” thinking, to date, has been to “feminise” anti-poverty initiatives such as Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) and microfinance programmes. Originality/value – The paper argues that the “feminisation of poverty” compounds the tensions women already face in terms of managing unpaid reproductive and/or “volunteer” work with their economic contributions to household livelihoods, and it is in the context of urban slums, where housing, service and infrastructure deficiencies pose considerable challenges to women’s dual burdens of productive and reproductive labour. The paper emphasizes that to more effectively address gender inequality while also alleviating poverty, policy interventions sensitive to women’s multiple, time-consuming responsibilities and obligations are paramount.
Although the effects of insecurity are believed to be important, these have never been directly measured. Previous estimates of the costs of conflict have only captured the joint effect of violence and insecurity. The distinction is important for understanding the origins of the costs and for policy design. Using the spatial-temporal variation in the placement of violence, I create spatially disaggregated measures of insecurity and present the first estimates of the relative causal contributions of the risk and experience of violence. The article also provides the first micro-data based counterpart to the cross-country literature on the costs of conflict.
Violence is amongst the primary concerns of communities around the world and research has demonstrated links between violence and the illicit drug trade, particularly in urban settings. Given the growing emphasis on evidence-based policy-making, and the ongoing severe drug market violence in Mexico and other settings, we conducted a systematic review to examine the impacts of drug law enforcement on drug market violence. We conducted a systematic review using Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Specifically, we undertook a search of English language electronic databases (Academic Search Complete, PubMed, PsycINFO, EMBASE, Web of Science, Sociological Abstracts, Social Service Abstracts, PAIS International and Lexis-Nexis), the Internet (Google, Google Scholar), and article reference lists, from database inception to January 24, 2011. Overall, 15 studies were identified that evaluated the impact of drug law enforcement on drug market violence, including 11 (73%) longitudinal analyses using linear regression, 2 (13%) mathematical drug market models, and 2 (13%) qualitative studies. Fourteen (93%) studies reported an adverse impact of drug law enforcement on levels of violence. Ten of the 11 (91%) studies employing longitudinal qualitative analyses found a significant association between drug law enforcement and drug market violence. Our findings suggest that increasing drug law enforcement is unlikely to reduce drug market violence. Instead, the existing evidence base suggests that gun violence and high homicide rates may be an inevitable consequence of drug prohibition and that disrupting drug markets can paradoxically increase violence. In this context, and since drug prohibition has not meaningfully reduced drug supply, alternative regulatory models will be required if drug supply and drug market violence are to be meaningfully reduced.
This paper identifies key determinants of individual, school, and quality of education outcomes and examines related policies, strategies, and project intervention to recommend reforms or possible reorientation. Two sets of data were used: (i) data on school resources and outputs from the administrative reporting systems of the Department of Education; and (ii) the 2002, 2004, and 2007 Annual Poverty Indicator Surveys. Analysis of individual, school, and quality of education outcomes showed that although school resources such as pupil–teacher ratio is a key determinant for both individual and school outcomes, and that per capita miscellaneous operating and other expenses are significant factors in determining quality of education outcome, socioeconomic characteristics are stronger determinants. Children of families in the lower-income deciles and with less educated household heads are vulnerable and less likely to attend school. Girls have better odds of attending school than boys. Working children, especially males, are less likely to attend secondary school. On the basis of these results, recommendations in the areas of policy and programs are discussed to help address further deterioration, reverse the declining trend, and/or sustain gains so far in improving basic education system performance outcomes.