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Politics

Duterte ignores costs of drug war at his peril

Honeymoon days fade, but muted Western criticism lets him stay the course

| Philippines
Protesters march toward the Malacanang presidential palace in Manila during the Philippines' National Day of Protest on Sept. 21.   © Reuters

Since he took office on June 30, 2016, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has waged a brutal campaign against illegal drugs without facing any significant resistance. The result was what one watchdog group dubbed a "human rights calamity" as police and vigilantes targeted thousands of suspected users and pushers across the country.

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