Adam Piggot wrote an excellent writeup on why Duterte is so popular in the Phillipenes. Peter Grant added some excellent commentary.

From Adam:

I was speaking to one of the Filipinos in a private conversation when he brought up the subject of his president. He was most fulsome in his praise. Under Duterte the streets are now safe. His kids can happily play on the streets. Business is going well, and particularly without the criminal element extorting money from small family concerns. The man was so enthusiastic that I decided to ask a few other of the Filipino crew what they thought. I made sure to do it in private conversations so they wouldn’t feel pressured by those around them; I wanted to really know what their thoughts were on this guy.

Peter adds:

Western liberals simply can't understand that, and never will, because they've never had to live from hand to mouth, aware that they can lose it all at the whim of any predator out there - two-legged or four-legged. Living under such conditions changes one's perspective. I know that from personal experience. It changed mine, pretty much permanently. That's why I laugh when I read about "preppers" and their multi-year stockpiles and stashes of survival goods. If we ever reach a dysfunctional dystopia in our society, those stockpiles will attract every "have-not" in the vicinity; and they won't be particular how they take them. Even the authorities will do the same. A local strong-man, perhaps armed with a law enforcement badge of some kind, or some other shred of "officialdom", will send his people around to "confiscate hoarded supplies for the good of the community". They'll insist on searching your premises for them, and they won't take no for an answer. If you resist, you'll regret it - briefly. Your stash will then go into the strong-man's own hoard, to be dispensed to those whose support he needs. You and your family (if any of you survive) will be S.O.L.

Think I'm exaggerating? I'm not. I've seen it before. The only exceptions to that rule will be those who are strong enough to keep what they have, the hard way. The Biblical motto still applies: "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace." If he doesn't, they aren't, and the society in which he lives collapses. (For proof, look at the inner-city ghettoes in any major US urban area. That's exactly what you see there.)

One thing I want to mention here is that I'm not so sure the way that Duterte is handling these predators is indeed uncivilized.

Civilization is not just about what you can build, but about behavior you will not tolerate. If you are not willing to take whatever steps are needed to hold off, and as necessary, destroy the wreckers, the barbarians, and the bandits, you will not have a civilization, because in accepting that uncivilized treatment from them, they will know they can get away with it.

Yes, that means that sometimes you have to be something other than nice, or tolerant. When dealing with those who do not bind themselves to the rules of civilization, they have excluded themselves from that same protection.

Yes, this is, once again, the golden rule.

Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue (though mercy can be).

Note: this shows the saw about "tolerance" to be a lie.