The tarpaulin election posters for a tribal chief in a village outside Davao City, on Mindanao Island, took me back to the past. I’d seen this man: before he was in police uniform. Today he was garbed in the costume of a datu, a tribal chief. In the 1980s, he was the city’s chief of police, rousing attention for organizing a vigilante group to fight against communist rebels. Now he has re-invented himself.

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