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A woman weeps near the scene where a suspected drug user was shot dead by unknown assailants in Navotas, Philippines. Photo by Ezra Acayan/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats recently published a report naming Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte a threat to democracy in Southeast Asia, citing his threats to "suspend the Constitution, declare a 'revolutionary government,' and impose nationwide martial law."

Why it matters: The most controversial aspect of Duterte's presidency has been the drug war that has seen thousands summarily killed with, at a minimum, his tacit support. Police say about 4,000 people have been killed, but most observers think that's far too low. Filipino senator Antonio Trillanes says the death toll has passed 20,000, though the true number is nearly impossible to determine.

Here's how one history's deadliest drug crackdowns has engulfed the Pacific nation.

1998-2016
  • While serving seven terms as mayor of Davao, Duterte oversees the extrajudicial killings of more than 1,400 criminals and street children by vigilantes, per a 2009 Human Rights Watch report.
  • Though he previously denied any affiliation with the Davao Death Squad, Duterte admits his connections in a 2015 interview with ABS-CBN News and warns that he will kill up to 100,000 criminals if elected president.
2016
  • May 30: Following a foul-mouthed campaign in which he rose to popularity for vowing to decentralize the government and eradicate crime within six months, Duterte wins the election by more than 6.5 million votes.
  • June 30: Upon assuming office, Duterte declares that his presidency will be "a bloody one" and that he will pardon himself for mass murder at the end of his six-year term. "If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself,” he tells his inauguration crowd.
  • Sept. 3: Duterte declares a state of national emergency after a bombing in Davao City kills 14 people, allowing him to exercise martial law and further rationalize the use of police force in his drug war.
  • Sept. 16: Duterte asks for a six-month extension to his anti-drug campaign, claiming there are far more criminals than he anticipated and he “cannot kill them all.” At this point, the death toll is estimated to be near 3,000.
  • Nov. 28: Expanding his list of targets, Duterte warns human rights advocates that their dissent will not be taken lightly: "When harvest time comes, there will be more [drug users] who will die. Then I will include you among them because you let them multiply."
2017
  • Jan. 31: Amnesty International releases a report claiming that "this is not a war on drugs, but a war on the poor." It details allegations of police being paid up to $300 per kill, as well as evidence-planting and falsification of incident reports to cover up unlawful executions.
  • June 29: A Reuters investigation reveals that police are sending corpses to hospitals in an attempt to disguise the fact that they are executing suspects. The percentage of drug suspects pronounced dead-on-arrival in two districts increases from 13% to 85%.
  • Oct. 27: Duterte defends the campaign, claiming that allegations of extrajudicial killings are political attempts to "demonize" him.
2018
  • February: The International Criminal Court launches a preliminary inquiry into the drug war over claims of crimes against humanity, while the U.S. labels the Filipino leader a threat to democracy. Duterte's administration hits back, asserting that he is not a threat to democracy, but rather a threat to the criminals who seek to destroy it.

Go deeper: Reuters has done a series of investigations into the drug war that are worthy of your time.

Go deeper

Updated 6 mins ago - World

Reports: Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" and were due to travel to another destination when the gang struck in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.

Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews during a news conference in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Melbourne's stay-at-home orders will end five days earlier than planned, officials in Australia's second-biggest city announced Sunday.

Why it matters: The capital of the state of Victoria has had six lockdowns totaling 262 days since March last year. That means Melbourne's spent longer under lockdowns than "any other city in the world" during the pandemic, Reuters notes.

Venezuela suspends talks with opposition after Maduro ally extradited to U.S.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, in June. Photo: Gaby Oraa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key ally of Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro was extradited from Cape Verde to the U.S. Saturday to face money laundering charges in Florida, Bloomberg first reported.

Why it matters: Venezuela's government called off negotiations with opposition officials that were scheduled for Sunday in Mexico in response to the extradition of Alex Saab, a Colombian businessman and financial fixer for Maduro. Security forces placed six U.S. oil executives under house arrest later Saturday, per AP.