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Category: Philippines

How the Philippines’ new strongman romped into office despite a shocking campaign

Written by Pauline Eadie.

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of Davao City in Mindanao is now president elect of the Philippines. His path to the presidency was controversial, riddled with expletives and reduced his detractors to mud slinging and comparisons with Hitler. But the mud failed to stick: with almost all precincts reporting, he looked to have won the race to the presidency with more than 15m votes and nearly 40% of the vote. His nearest rivals have conceded defeat.

The Coming Uncertainty: Philippine Elections

Written by Richard J. Heydarian.

In coming days, the Philippines is set to elect a new roster of leaders. This is, arguably, the Southeast Asian country’s most important presidential election in recent memory, with potentially far-reaching implications in both domestic and foreign policy realms.

In what has turned out as one of the most unpredictable elections in recent memory, the Philippines’ presidential race has finally produced a clear frontrunner. Rodrigo Duterte, Davao’s firebrand mayor, who has a penchant for pugnacious rhetoric and often-controversial remarks, is now clearly the man to beat.

Electioneering in the Promised Land: Payatas Dumpsite 2016

Written by Carmilita Morante.

I am a community organizer in Lupang Pangako (literal translation ‘Land of Promise’) a scavenging community in Barangay Payatas, Quezon City (part of Metro Manila), host to the biggest open dumpsite in the Philippines.  For five years now I have worked in the community and been exposed to the struggle against its continued operations despite the law that prohibits its existence. I have long wanted to write my one-cent worth of opinion about how this issue is playing in the current electoral campaign. But it’s a tough assignment to fulfill amidst the plethora of political posters and deafening mobile propaganda teams proclaiming the credentials of politicos. Lupang Pangako brings the frenzy to another level as 9 May approaches.

The Federal Alternative: Will Rodrigo Duterte clinch the presidency? Part II

Written by Erwin S. Fernandez.

How can one explain the Duterte phenomenon? Firstly Duterte provides an option in which security of persons and property is guaranteed in an environment where they are taken for granted and the rule of law is followed only at the whims and caprices of authorities. Second, Duterte managed to ride on the popularization of federalism federalism , which is the result of the awakening of various ethnicities in the country to the possibilities of representation absent in unitarist system. Consciousness of economic underdevelopment and emasculation of cultural diversity found in the countryside enabled these ethnic nations – neither tribes nor ethnolinguistic groups – to assert their cultural pride and strive for economic independence from the metropolis. The next step to this equation is quasi-political independence by way of federalism.

The Federal Alternative: Will Rodrigo Duterte clinch the presidency? Part I

Written by Erwin S. Fernandez.

Grace Poe’s citizenship and ten-year residency were legitimated in the heat of judicial bias. As a Pangasinan, I do not consider her a daughter ofPangasinan as her spindoctors would like to project her to Pangasinan voters. Mar Roxas will only continue a standard of incompetence that is the trademark of the current administration while Jejomar Binay will surpassMarcos thievery if given the chance. Miriam Defensor Santiago knows her time time has passed for the presidency and her choice of Bongbong Marcos is suspect of her political color. Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte, the lone candidate from Mindanao whose roots can be traced to Samar Province in a contest dominated by Ilonggos with the exception of Binay who is a Tagalog-Ibanag, seems to be the dark horse.

A Family Business: The Rise & Fall of the Roxas Dynasty

Written by Elliot Newbold

With little under a week to go until the Philippine presidential elections, the stage is set for something of a political upset. Currently, the outlandish mayor of Davao City, Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte, holds the lead as the candidate most likely to succeed Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III at Malacañang Palace. Despite brazenly deleterious comments that have drawn international condemnation, Duterte still looks set to upturn the established political order.

It is no secret that Filipino politics is driven by personality over political platforms. Indeed, one of the most discernible reasons for Duterte’s meteoric rise is his anti-establishment tone; he’s promised to fight crime, tackle corruption, and challenge inequality, all whilst providing a fresh-faced alternative to the dynastic political elite that dominate Filipino politics. Clearly, Duterte’s populism has captivated the electorate. Yet, the question remains: what happens to the old-guard if, and when they’re driven out of power?

Hardman Rodrigo Duterte closes in on the Philippine presidency

Written by Pauline Eadie.

As the Philippines careers towards the May 2016 presidential elections, it looks as if one of the country’s toughest politicians may be about to sweep to power. Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte is currently leading in the polls despite a series of outlandish and outrageous remarks – most recently, a vow to kill his children if they take drugs – and it seems as if it may be too late for any of his challengers to pull off an upset.

Philippines 2016: Election Day is All Souls Day

Written by Kevin H.R. Villanueva.

Politics is performance and the Philippine presidential election is a stage. Binay, Duterte, Roxas, Poe and Defensor-Santiago will each play many parts: they will tap into our deepest desires, draw out our dissatisfactions and lay bare our discords as a people. They will have their exits and their entrances. And in three overlapping character scripts – throughout the last stretch of this campaign – they will keep us mesmerized.

Philippines 2016: Regional Party Building and for Women in Politics

Written by Rosalie Arcala Hall

Following the anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) in March 2015, the matter regarding the stymied passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) bill was suddenly thrown in the Philippine Presidential campaign limelight. Liberal Party candidate Mar Roxas made an appearance at Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao with a media entourage as did Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban candidate Rodrigo Dueterte. United Nationalist Alliance candidate Jejomar Binay shortly made a public pronouncement vowing to support the passage of the BBL. However, these policy pronouncements made during campaigns should not be taken seriously; they are not bellwethers of the fate of the negotiated settlment on the Bangsamoro issue. Political parties, which are mere campaign vehicles for Presidential wannabes, do not map specific policy preferences. Past Presidential candidates have historically looked at the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) as areas where local power brokers can be depended upon to deliver votes. Clan dominance in local electoral outcomes and the datu system (e.g. locked-in electorate via force, intimidation or familial connections, pre-determined set of candidates) have lubricated thisnational-local bargain for decades. Autonomy issues have never been prominent among voters outside Manila. For women, the first-past-the post, winner take all scheme and the party-list system have only marginally served as empowerment vehicle. Muslim women in elected posts are overwhelmingly tied up with their clans as substitute/stand-ins for termed out male relatives; their number well below the national average of 10% of total elected posts.

Philippine Elections 2016: Much Ado About Nothing?

Written by Vladimir Guevarra.

Well that’s awkward. Some of my friends on Facebook have started attacking each other in defence of their preferred candidate for President of the Philippines. Some of the arguments are rather formal and more measured (“I choose X because of his achievements, including…”), some are moralistic (“I’m surprised some ‘Christians’ would condone a foulmouthed candidate”) while some are downright personal (“I should not be defending him from hypocrites like you!”). Note: Those brickbats are not against me.

So. Like wow. Chill. I found myself having to broker peace between two friends because it would be such a shame if their camaraderie sours on account of the elections. But so far, no peace yet.