The Philippine ?War on Drugs? as Represented by National and Foreign News Media: A Critical Discourse Analysis
A Thesis Submitted
to the Department of Languages, Literature and Arts
Ateneo de Davao University
In Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements for the Degree
Master of Arts in English
Candice Faye Kristen C. Lleses
October 2018
Background of the study
The Philippine ?Drug War? has become almost synonymous with name Rodrigo Duterte, the 16th president of the Republic of the Philippines and possibly one of the most controversial and easily recognizable political figures of the 21st century just yet. In only two years of leadership in Malaca¤ang, he has been the focal point of accusations of misogyny, impunity, and inciting war crimes, among others by his critics (Pano & Gacoscosim, 2018).
Duterte won a landslide victory in the 2016 presidential elections with a platform that focused on economic development, education, health, corruption, and most notably, the nation?s drug problem. Soon after, the Duterte administration launched Project Double Barrel as a flagship campaign to counter illegal drugs. The said campaign was highly scrutinized by the Congress, the academe and national and international media due to claims that some of the casualties of the ensuing police operations were victims of police abuses, with sectors such as the Commission on Human Rights claiming that some operations have violated the rights of the accused. Nevertheless, within only three months after Duterte took office, more than 3,600 alleged drug users and pushers were killed (Associated Press, 2016). Aside from the 2,555 killings and 53,025 arrests in police operations alone as recorded by the Philippine National Police by the start of January 2017, Amnesty International (2017) reports that should the killings committed by unidentified men be counted, the death toll would run to more than 7,000.

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