Analysis - Hardline Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is battling Muslim extremists in the town of Marawi and has declared martial law in the whole island of Mindanao.
But he has also been fighting another battle for the last 10 months - against drug users and pushers.
Mr Duterte regards the drug trade as one of the country's biggest problems and during his presidential campaign warned tens of thousands would be killed in the battle to end drug use.
The death toll in that fight is now estimated to have topped 12,000, with no end to the killing in sight. Activists in the country say the anti-drug campaign amounts to a war on the poor.
Joel* was one of those urban poor now among the long list of those shot dead by police. He was having a few drinks with friends to celebrate his birthday, but had already crashed out by the time his wife Maria* got home from work late in the evening.
She went to check on their children and says she heard a knock, then police at the door and someone begging not to be hurt. That was followed by gunfire.
She recounts how the officers came through to where she was, led one of their children out and said she had to follow with the other two primary school-aged children. She was at a neighbours when she heard more shots. She said she later found out three of the four men of the house - including husband Joel - had been killed.
The police apparently said they had a tip-off a stash of weapons was being held at the house, and said the men were killed after they drew guns on the officers.
Maria admitted her husband was a small-scale runner for a drug supplier, and couriered small quantities of meth - or "shabu", as it is known in the Philippines - after he lost his job as a construction worker.
But she explains Joel had all but given up running drugs as they were afraid for his safety. They could never have afforded a weapon or weapons they were supposed to have, she says.
In her wedding photos Maria appears bright, happy and full of life. Now, this slight woman looks mostly at the ground, with slumped shoulders and a careworn face.
She says her husband should have been arrested and charged, not killed without a trial. She wants to take her case to court to get the police officers involved to admit what they did.
Safety in Rehab
That fear of being shot is one of the motivating factors for meth users to go into rehab. To get into a Department of Health Facility at Bicutan in Manila, addicts have to be taken to court, mostly by a family member, and officially committed to the unit.
The spokesman for the facility, Mark Anthony, admits safety has been a huge attraction and at the start of Mr Duterte's campaign, the facility was housing 1600 residents, more than three times the number it is meant to accommodate.
The rehab centre uses peer pressure and boot camp regimes to steer people away from drug use and back to a more productive life.
There are separate dorms for men and women and children. The youngest in residence when we visit is a 12-year-old girl, but Mark Anthony can recall an 8-year-old street kid who had become addicted to meth and solvent sniffing after sampling the products he was running to clients.
As we look around the basic facilities, a group of men walks past and barks, "Welcome visitors," as if they were a group of drill sergeants.
Men and women both are wearing baggy white shorts and tee shirts and groups are sitting on the floor waiting for dinner. The women eat in the dorm to keep them away from the men.
Three women are facing the wall: an adult "time out" for breaking one of the four core rules; no drugs, no fighting, no stealing and no sex.
Residents are here for up to a year and then are monitored on the outside for another 18 months. Mark Anthony says that going by the number who return, the system has a success rate of 80 percent. He acknowledges that five former residents have been shot, however.
Police say the deaths are a combination of homicides that affect every big city and deaths that result from officers having to take deadly force when suspects resist arrest.
The Philippines Human Rights Commission disagrees however, saying people's basic right to a fair trial is being trampled by what amounts, in many cases, to extrajudicial killings.
One of the Commissioners, Karen Gomez-Dumpit, is angry as she explains one of the big issues they are trying to turn around is the idea that not everyone is entitled to be treated the same under the law, that some people deserve what they get.
She says they are accused of "cuddling the criminals", but for her it is a matter of upholding the basic human rights that are enshrined in the constitution.
* Names have been changed
Philippa Tolley is RNZ Insight's presenter and executive producer. She received the Jefferson Fellowship award for 2017 and travelled with a group of other journalists around the Asia Pacific region. Her trip was made possible by a grant from the Asia New Zealand Foundation.