Mon, Mar 13, 2017

An Outlook on the Philippines Under Duterte

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The Filipino business community reacted guardedly when presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte surged in the polls in early 2016 . President Benigno Aquino III, who was unable to run again for office, had provided a predictable, comparatively transparent platform under which the Philippines enjoyed continued economic growth and above-average inflows of foreign investment.

Duterte presented an antithesis to Aquino, with his drastic proposals for engaging in a large-scale war on illegal drugs, holding peace talks with Communist rebels, and re-examining the country’s historically close alliance with the United States

After receiving more than 16 million votes, President Duterte has been given a strong public mandate to follow through on his campaign promises. His party coalition has amajority in the House of Representatives, partly as a result of defectors from Aquino’s Liberal Party. The administration also enjoys a majority in the Senate and is due to appoint a record number of justices to the Supreme Court by the year 2022, when Duterte’s term finishes. Unlike any president in modern Filipino history, Duterte has the power to chart a new course for the country. His first six months in office have indicated what this course could be.

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