THE New York Times reported that the Philippines problem on drugs can be traced back to the President Rodrigo Duterte’s predecessor, Benigno Aquino III.
“It might seem that the Philippines’ trouble began when it elected Mr. Duterte, a brash provincial politician who has for decades embraced extrajudicial killings as a legitimate method of crime control," NY Times said in a report.
"But the true roots of the problem can be traced to the administration of Mr. Duterte’s predecessor, Benigno Aquino III. That is because, experts say, the true cause of this kind of extrajudicial violence is the public’s loss of confidence in state institutions and its turning instead to more immediate forms of punishment and control," it added.
In 2010, Aquino was elected on high hopes that he will support the rule of law and human rights. However he failed to fix the Philippines’ corrupt and ineffective justice system.
During his administration, he also faced a series of security-related scandals, including a hostage crisis in Manila in 2010.
"And, perhaps most critical, Mr. Aquino was perceived as lazy and soft, unwilling to take the necessary steps to solve the country’s problems," NY Times said.
With the previous administration's failures to respond the Filipinos' needs and frustration with the government’s inability to provide basic security, the people demanded a new kind of leadership that would take more decisive action to provide security, thus President Duterte's election.
When people begin to see the justice system as thoroughly corrupt and broken, they feel unprotected from crime. That sense of threat makes them willing to support vigilante violence, which feels like the best option for restoring order and protecting their personal safety.
Gema Santamaria, a professor at the Mexico Autonomous Institute of Technology in Mexico City who studies lynchings and other forms of vigilante killings, and José Miguel Cruz, the research director at Florida International University’s Latin American and Caribbean Center, used survey data from across Latin America to test what leads people to support extrajudicial violence.
The data told a very similar story across all of the countries in their sample. People who didn’t have faith in their country’s institutions were more likely to say vigilante violence was justified.
Leaders like Mr. Duterte have a political incentive to exploit this sentiment, marketing their willingness to go around the system to prove that they are willing to do whatever it takes to solve the country’s problems.
“When you have a weak government that faces a security crisis and also a crisis of trust of the people, the issue of promising more punishment is a shortcut to gain citizens’ confidence, to gain support,” Ms. Santamaria said.[source]