Exiled Rebel Exhorts Filipinos to Rally Against President

Exiled Rebel Exhorts Filipinos to Rally Against PresidentCommunist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison encouraged a gathering of Hong Kong-based Filipino groups on September 10 to “expand our ranks and broaden the widest resistance" against the government of President Rodrigo Duterte. “You must strengthen yourself for more intense struggle,” he said via a video recording. Under the leadership of…

With ASEAN Toothless, The Region Needs a New Naval Pact

With ASEAN Toothless, The Region Needs a New Naval PactThe security challenges facing the Southeast Asian region increasingly call into question the relevance of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, whose inability to assert international law stems from its blind hope that Beijing will hold up to its promises, which has been a failed hope indeed given China’s actions in ignoring all the littoral…

Duterte’s Drug War Stumbles on Allegations of Teen’s Murder

Duterte’s Drug War Stumbles on Allegations of Teen’s MurderThe apparent Aug. 18 assassination by police of a 17-year-old student appears finally to have kicked off widespread objection to President Rodrigo Duterte’s murderous drug war and its spate of extrajudicial killings. The killing of Kian Delos Santos, who was dragged from his home, handed a gun and told to run as he screamed that…

Duterte, the Philippines and a Psychopathic Reign of Terror

Duterte, the Philippines and a Psychopathic Reign of TerrorIt is time for the Philippines to face up to the fact that its president, Rodrigo Duterte, is a psychopath drunk on killing. The reign of terror he has initiated and promoted has in just one year claimed more victims than the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and other Islamist terror groups have in the whole of…

The Duterte Mirage

The Duterte MirageHow long will it be before Filipinos wake up to the sheer lack of achievement in President Duterte’s year in office? He still stands high in the polls because of his uncouth, action-man image. From far right to far left criticism is muted despite a performance that which does not bear too close examination nor…

Philippines’ Duterte Claims a Crusading Newspaper’s Scalp

Philippines’ Duterte Claims a Crusading Newspaper’s ScalpThe July 7 announcement by Manila’s Prieto family that it would rid itself of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, arguably the country’s most important newspaper, has raised new consternation over the increasingly authoritarian posture of President Rodrigo Duterte, who declared war on the paper for its critical reporting of his bloody, violent drug war. Duterte has…

Duterte’s Year One: Chaos Under the Surface

Duterte’s Year One: Chaos Under the SurfaceWith his first year in office completed, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte doesn’t know the difference between policy and bragging to drinking partners. He has simply not grown up. He remains a hambugerong bugoy, a teenage braggart. Thus the constant boasting about his sexual prowess, the dirty talk, the tilting against convention. He has an exaggerated…

Duterte’s War on Drugs: What Has He Achieved?

Duterte’s War on Drugs: What Has He Achieved?Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte promised a savage drug war, the capstone of the campaign that made him the head of the government. With a year now under his belt, indeed change has come but not the kinds of changes he expected. Seven thousand killed before the newspapers stopped counting, perhaps daunted by the scale of…

Unpacking Dutertism

Unpacking DutertismThe ‘best’ way to assess President Rodrigo Duterte’s year in office is to look at him and his presidency on his own terms—to understand and unpack Dutertism itself. Is this a homegrown ‘ideology’ shaped by the experience in governance of a local leader-turned-national? What are the contradictions in his government, between policy and action? If…

The Tragedy of Marawi for a Chastened Duterte

The Tragedy of Marawi for a Chastened DuterteThe destruction of the Islamic city of Marawi has tragically confounded the aspirations of President Rodrigo Duterte, the small-town mayor who became the Philippine President and has discovered that his ambitions outweighed his capabilities. Based on his experience as the mayor of Davao City, where he had a friendly relationship with the region’s Muslims, Duterte…
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