Category Archives: Philippines Analysis

Duterte Signs Law Penalizing Unlawful Utterances, Fake News

President Rodrigo Duterte signed a law that would impose penalties on a person found guilty of spreading fake news that might affect public order; unlawful use of publication; and unlawful utterances. Fake news has been a major issue since the campaign last year, though ironically, the president’s rabid supporters are the ones guiltiest. There are concerns that this may be used to further stifle any opposition and thereby consolidate Duterte’s power. There are also similarities to martial law-era provisions when the… Continue reading

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Impeachment Case Against Chief Justice Sereno Endorsed by 25 Congressmen

At least 25 members of the House of Representatives have endorsed an impeachment complaint against Supreme Court Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno for wrongful declaration of assets and unauthorized expenses. While majority of the high court’s justices are believed to be on President Rodrigo Duterte’s side, the impeachment against Sereno is seen as a way of silencing her because of her criticisms against the war on drugs. There are also similar moves being cooked up against Ombudsman Conchita… Continue reading

Duterte Tightens Noose Against ABS-CBN

President Rodrigo Duterte is tightening the noose against the Lopez-owned ABS-CBN television network. Duterte previously claimed that the network refused to air his campaign ads last year despite already accepting payments. He added that the network has been too critical of and biased against his administration. He has now targeted Lopez Holdings, which owns majority of the network, for non-payment of debts to a government-owned bank. Duterte earlier threatened that he would block the renewalContinue reading

Loyalty of Police Forces Faces Test, as Duterte Drops Promise of Unconditional Support

President Rodrigo Duterte’s control of the police faces a test after he announced that policemen involved in the killing of a 17-year-old during a drug raid should be jailed if found guilty. This is in contrast to his previous statements when he provided controversial advices, including planting of evidence to nail a suspect, providing suspects with a gun to make it appear that there was a shootout, and summarily executing… Continue reading

Duterte Reverses Stance on Unconditional Support of Police, as Pressure on Killing of 17-Year-Old Boy Increases

Public outrage over the killing of a 17-year-old kid in President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs has seen even administration allies and cabinet members criticize the killing. This has probably forced the president’s hand into backtracking from his previous unconditional support of the police. While Duterte should be able to ride out this issue, it might have an effect on the armed services that already has anonymous members forming a new group clamoring for his ouster, in part due to orders inciting the police… Continue reading

Video of Meeting of ISIS-Linked Leaders and Recovery of P80-M Indicate Well-Funded Terror Campaign

A video has surfaced showing the leaders of the ISIS-linked terror organizations meeting to finalize plans to take over Marawi City. The plan, however, was prematurely launched after the military conducted raids in the area in an effort to capture the group’s leader. Intelligence officials say that the group could have captured more hostages and occupied a wider area. Authorities also recovered nearly P80 million in checks and banknotes… Continue reading

Islamic State Claim May Stoke Wider Martial Law Fears

An attack in the Resorts World hotel and casino complex in the capital is the third that the Islamic State has claimed which the police have denied. Twin bombings in Manila during the ASEAN summit were attributed by authorities to gang warfare. A bombing attempt by the Maute Group on the US embassy was also foiled last year. Additional attempts may be used by the administration to widen the martial law declaration to the… Continue reading