The Philippines

Packed prisons in the Philippines

2019 is slated to be a year of elections for the Southeast Asian region. Not only will Indonesia see its first presidential election since 2014, Thailand too has promised to hold an election this year since the military coup of 2014. While Thailand is currently struggling with the prospect of a delayed election, the Philippines is another country facing elections soon.Set for 13 May, the last presidential election the Philippines had was in 2016.

3 May 2020

Murders of land activists spike under Duterte

Murders of environmental activists and land defenders in the Philippines have risen sharply under President Rodrigo Duterte, an international rights watchdog said Tuesday, alleging his speeches and policies have "emboldened" the killers.Campaigners who challenge powerful logging, mining and fruit growing interests have long faced deadly violence in the Philippines, but the recent increase marked a "disturbing" jump, according to a report from Global Witness. In Ju

25 September 2019

Duterte under fire for saying he “touched” maid

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte drew outrage Sunday after saying he "touched" his maid when he was a teenager, with women's rights groups accusing him of attempted rape and encouraging sexual abuse.Duterte frequently sparks uproar with his comments on women, including rape jokes and boasting about adultery.In his latest remarks, Duterte recounted a confession he had with a priest in high school, detailing how he had entered the room of his maid while she was sleeping.

31 December 2018

Martial law in Mindanao extended

Just as martial law in Mindanao was nearing its expiration, the Philippine Congress approved on 12 December a 12-month extension of the law. The extension received an overwhelming majority in Congress with 235 lawmakers voting for it. Martial law in the Mindanao region was first implemented in May 2017, after hundreds of Islamic State (IS) affiliated militants took control of the city of Marawi. The siege lasted five months and saw over 47 civilians and around 970 militants killed.

21 December 2018

Philippines opens cleaner, stricter Boracay

Tourists landed by the boatload Friday on the Philippines' Boracay island, which re-opened with a slew of new rules after a six-month shutdown aimed at undoing the impact of years of being loved to death by millions of holidaymakers.President Rodrigo Duterte shuttered the tiny white-sand island in April, declaring it a "cesspool" where businesses flushed raw sewage into the once pristine turquoise waters and trash soiled its beaches.Among the first to land after the government

27 October 2018

Growing discontent in the Philippines

Money has been tight for the ordinary Filipino this year. Over the past few months, the Philippines has seen its inflation rate rise rapidly. The latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority reveals that the rate of inflation had reached a whopping 6.7 percent in September.

19 October 2018

For Boracay 2.0’s survival

Proclaimed as a ‘paradise on earth’ in the 1970s, the Philippine island of Boracay landed on the bucket lists of western tourists seeking sun, sea and surf. However, by the mid-1990s, tourist arrivals dropped due to degradation caused by a non-existent sewage system on the island. Despite the improvements in clean water, sewage treatment and waste management systems in the late 1990s, environmental issues persisted due to the noncompliance of the island’s business establishments.

4 October 2018

Rising inflation poses challenge to Duterte

After two years since his landslide presidential victory, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte could finally be facing his biggest challenge yet. No, it is not his controversial war on drugs which Human Rights Watch says has claimed more than 12,000 lives. Nor is it his abysmal human rights track record.At the moment, the biggest concern for many ordinary Filipinos is the economy – a concern most likely shared by Duterte as well.

26 September 2018

Philippines feels the heat from hackers

Among all ASEAN member countries, the Philippines is said to be the most susceptible to cyberattacks. Despite the dire warnings, the republic’s media and entertainment giant ABS-CBN still fell victim to a hack recently.

22 September 2018

Food price and import in the wake of Mangkhut

As it barrelled down its path, the super typhoon Mangkhut left a trail of death and destruction in its wake. Mangkhut, the most powerful tropical storm of the year to date, continued to wreak havoc on Southern China’s Guangdong and Guangxi, killing four, after first making landfall in the Philippines and Hong Kong. More than three million people had been moved to safety in preparation for the typhoon in China, which made landfall in Guangdong, late Sunday afternoon.

19 September 2018

China to boost Duterte’s Build! Build! Build!

Just when its relationship with China seems to have gone sour, the Philippine government has announced that new deals with Beijing are in the works. Ever since the Philippines elected Rodrigo Duterte into power in 2016, the country has enjoyed warmer relations with China. However, last week, Duterte lashed out twice at his nation’s largest trading partner, urging China to “rethink” and to “temper its behaviour” in the disputed South China Sea.

30 August 2018