The Dangerous Philosophy Behind Duterte’s ‘War on Drugs’

The Dangerous Philosophy Behind Duterte’s ‘War on Drugs’Six months after the election of Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte as President of the Philippines, the country remains divided as to whether this represents a new era in Philippine politics or the country's tragic downfall. Regardless of where one stands on the political spectrum, the tragic loss of life caused by his "war on drugs" cannot…

Journalist Deaths Down Globally

Journalist Deaths Down GloballyOn Dec. 19, Larry Que, the publisher of Catanduanes News Now, became the fourth journalist to die in the Philippines in 2016 when he was shot in the head by a lone gunman as he was about to enter the building that houses his office. While any journalist’s murder is ominous, Que’s murder is doubly so…

As ASEAN Turns 50, Rights Lag

As ASEAN Turns 50, Rights LagAs the international backlash continues over Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on drugs, the lack of due process and the consequent deaths of “suspects” in his campaign, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, along with its individual member states, has been characteristically silent. For instance, ASEAN’s leaders and ministers met at their summit in…

The disgrace of Filipino Cleanup Efforts Post-Haiyan

The disgrace of Filipino Cleanup Efforts Post-HaiyanWhen Typhoon Haiyan smashed into Tacloban in the central Philippines almost three years ago, Arsenio was one of the lucky ones – he survived by swimming a kilometer to safety. “Every time there is a storm, I get scared, even after three years,” he said. “I don’t want to go through the same thing again.” …

A Sensible Answer to Southeast Asia’s Drug Problems

A Sensible Answer to Southeast Asia’s Drug ProblemsIn February of 2003, then-Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra launched a bloody “war on drugs” that lasted for three months and resulted in police killings of 2,800 suspects, only half of whom were later found to have anything to do with drugs. The rest may simply have been in the wrong place at the wrong…

Contradictions in Philippine President Duterte’s War on Drugs

Contradictions in Philippine President Duterte’s War on Drugs“It’s not a lie, Drugs will make your Mama cry” was painted on a board by the gate of a primary school in a fishing village tucked away in the Visayan islands. It was a fading sign left over from an anti-drug campaign a couple of years ago, which apparently didn’t work.  The menace had…

A Robbery Tells the Story of Philippine Legal Ineffectiveness

A Robbery Tells the Story of Philippine Legal IneffectivenessIn mid-November of last year, a small-time gangster got drunk in the Cavite Province city of Silang, a city of 250,000 about 45 km south of Manila, and shot up a motel, which got him arrested.  Shortly after, he was visited by another member of the gang, who was overheard assuring him not to worry.…

China Slapped Down on South China Sea for Environmental Issues

China Slapped Down on South China Sea for Environmental IssuesOn July 12, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea upheld the Philippine government’s challenge to China’s sweeping claim that it had “since time immemorial” ruled the seas between Hainan and Singapore. But almost overlooked in media reportage of the tribunal’s rulings were important clarifications of provisions of the United Nations Convention on…

Thailand Expats Rattled by New Visa Form

Thailand Expats Rattled by New Visa FormMany members of Thailand’s vast expatriate community are up in arms over a three-page Immigration Bureau form introduced recently, asking for a wide range of personal information and raising fears that critics or people the military doesn’t like may be targeted. The information the government is asking for includes bank details, all social media used…

The Group Behind Canadian Execution by Philippine Militants

The Group Behind Canadian Execution by Philippine MilitantsThe discovery Monday, April 25, of the beheading of a Canadian tourist held hostage by Islamist militants in the Philippines outraged foreign leaders and locals alike as the outside world again was touched by the country's seemingly endless cycle of violence in remote parts of Mindanao. John Ridsdel, held hostage with three others since September,…
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