How a secretive police squad racked up kills in Duterte's drug war

The most prominent police officer from Davao is Ronald Dela Rosa, the national police chief
Reuters (UK)
Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Soon after President Rodrigo Duterte launched his war on drugs, a small group of police officers from his hometown Davao arrived in the Philippine capital. Calling themselves the "Davao Boys," they formed the core of a lethal anti-drug unit. The story of the Davao Boys also highlights a larger dynamic: Many of the drug war’s key police officers hail from or served in President Duterte’s hometown, where the campaign’s brutal methods originated during his time as mayor. A Davao-based human rights group, the Coalition Against Summary Execution, blamed death squads in the city for 1,424 murders there between 1998 and 2015, mostly of petty criminals and drug users. Duterte, who was mayor for much of that period, denied any involvement.