Research Alert

Newswise — A new report published in the academic journal Pacific Affairs authored by Dr Tom Smith from the University of Portsmouth and Dr Joseph Reyes from Lund University investigates election violence in the Philippines. It is the first academic research published on the issue in 23 years and evidences increasing violence, the armed groups involved and murky role of state security forces across the massacres of journalists, assassinations of candidates and attacks on voters and campaign groups.

• Election Violence in the Philippines has worsened since 2004, contrary to claims by government and previous research.  

• Election Violence in the Philippines is largely perpetrated by unidentified assassins and fruitful investigations are rare.  

• The Duterte administration has fostered vigilante violence in its ‘war on drugs’ and risks further fuelling another violent election.

• Media reporting on the election and the violence around it is increasingly dangerous,  journalists are murdered and media networks under threat.

• Election Violence is hard to monitor and currently falls between the cracks of various international election monitoring initiatives.  

Journal Link: Pacific Affairs, Volume 94, No. 3, September 2021 issue