Just seven countries worldwide regularly execute people for drug crimes, most of them authoritarian regimes. Nothing suggests that this brutal policy actually curbs drug use.
President Duterte declared martial law back in March to aid the fight against Islamic militants. Many fear he will continue using this power.
After more than 7,000 killings by police and vigilantes, an incident involving the death of a South Korea businessman has finally put an end of Rodrigo Duterte's drug war.
Politics is a world for which show business celebrities are perfectly adapted and their predominance in the Philippines offers a glimpse of what televisual populism could look like in other countries.
As in other parts of the world, the war on drugs in Southeast Asian countries has huge social, moral and medical costs. Now, an approach that places harm reduction at its centre is gaining support.
The people of the Philippines brought down a dictator without resorting to violence 30 years ago. But continuing disappointment with their democracy means they now support a populist president.
Organised crime groups are profiting from the fruits of globalisation such as free-trade agreements as well as the massive upgrade of the region’s infrastructure and connectivity now underway.
Duterte says there are three million drug users in the Philippines. There are almost certainly many fewer than that.
Can Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte learn anything from Thailand's failed campaign against drugs in the early 2000s? Maybe to adopt a less bloody and more comprehensive approach.