Philippines’ de Lima Arrest may Signal Wreckage of Pork Barrel Case

Philippines’ de Lima Arrest may Signal Wreckage of Pork Barrel CaseThere is rising concern in Manila that President Rodrigo Duterte is about to wreck the prosecution of one of the biggest scandals in the history of the Philippines, a country replete with huge scandals. On Feb. 15, the country’s solicitor general, Jose Calida, in effect nullified a guilty verdict by a local court in a…

Asia in 2016: Philippines

Asia in 2016: PhilippinesThe Philippines has endured a turbulent year under Rodrigo Duterte, who assumed the country’s presidency from June 30. His agenda, which has included extra-judicial killings as part of a war on drugs and sidelining the United States as an ally, has put the Philippines back in the headlines. The controversial campaign against drugs, in which…

Philippines’ Duterte a Drug User Himself

Philippines’ Duterte a Drug User HimselfSo now we know what has long been suspected: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has a history of drug dependence greater than that of most of the 6,000 or so murdered during his anti-drug campaign.  Duterte has admitted past regular use (and over-use) of Fentanyl, the most powerful of all the opioids known. It is far…

Is the Philippines Tiring of Duterte?

Is the Philippines Tiring of Duterte?The stage, one cloudy afternoon at the military headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, gave a picture of Philippine politics as it stands. There was President Rodrigo Duterte who for the second time that day was churning out his oft-repeated and by-now familiar rambling monologue on his anti-drug campaign. And there behind him sat…

Duterte’s Long Game: Marcos Family Return, Critics say

Duterte’s Long Game: Marcos Family Return, Critics sayThe ugly divide between Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo, which culminated last week with his kicking her out of cabinet meetings, is raising concerns that his long game is to eventually turn the presidency over to a close ally, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. There is little doubt that Marcos is at the center…

Marrakech Climate Talks Thrown into Confusion by US Election

Marrakech Climate Talks Thrown into Confusion by US ElectionNews broke that Donald Trump had won the US presidential election on the third day of United Nations-sponsored annual talks on climate change in Marrakesh, Morocco. Given Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric calling global warming a Chinese plot, understandably the news came as a shock. Hundreds of delegates are attending the 22nd session of the Conference of…

In the Philippines, Who is the Real Duterte?

In the Philippines, Who is the Real Duterte?Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will be in China from Oct.18 to Oct. 21 to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, yet another polarizing action as he moves beyond his 100-day honeymoon as the nation’s chief executive.   Using a combination of bluster, brutality and vulgarity to espouse domestic and international policies that have veered wildly…

Former Philippines President Ramos Loses Patience with Duterte

Former Philippines President Ramos Loses Patience with DuterteSharp criticism from his erstwhile major supporter, former Philippine President Fidel Ramos, has been a surprise antidote to the popular praise heaped on Rodrigo Duterte for the first 100 days of his administration. Outsiders might see his performance as almost entirely negative, focusing on his encouragement of murder of alleged drug dealers, insults to foreign…

Philippine President Duterte Sows Chaos Internationally

Philippine President Duterte Sows Chaos InternationallyWhat kind of drugs – or to be polite, medicines – is President Duterte taking? This is a serious question. It is hard to remember any Asian leader in the past half century whose behavior has been so erratic, whose pronouncements so damaging to the position and image of his country. Meanwhile his actions appear…

Can a Hero’s Burial for Marcos be Legally Stopped?

Can a Hero’s Burial for Marcos be Legally Stopped?The Philippine Supreme Court tackles this week three petitions which aim to stop the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in a cemetery for heroes. The petitions, filed by victims of martial law, argue that giving the deposed strongman a hero’s burial is a dishonor to those who suffered under his 20-year regime. The…
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