Category Archives: Philippines Analysis

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

Self-Rated Poverty Numbers Up, as Inflation and Unemployment Take Toll

Despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s high ratings, social tension may be brewing based on several statistics. Self-rated poverty as polled by the Social Weather Station during the first quarter of 2017 is at 50%, a 6%-increase from the previous quarter that reverses the trend since 2014. This is probably related to the increase in inflation from a low 1.4% in 2015 to the current 3.4%. Employment numbers have also been declining since July 2016… Continue reading

Government Says Foreign Terrorists Have Invaded Mindanao; Will This be Basis for Defense in Supreme Court?

Solicitor-general Jose Calida said that Singaporeans, Malaysians and Indonesians were fighting alongside Maute Group members in Marawi, adding that the situation is similar to an invasion of foreign terrorists. The move lays the groundwork to justify the declaration of martial law, as critics will probably question it before the Supreme Court. Under the constitution, invasion or rebellion are the only reasons allowed. While President Rodrigo Duterte initially said it was a rebellion,  a botched operation to capture… Continue reading

Who Benefits from China’s Loans and Grants to the Philippines?

Concerns have been raised on what the country has to give up for Chinese assistance. Aside from the effects of Chinese loans on the Philippine debt burden, there are warnings of a possible imbalance in the deals, as China would be providing everything from the banks and investment money to the materials and industry. Some have also connected President Rodrigo Duterte’s friendlier mining stance to the relationship with China, as the country is a major source of nickel ore. Background… Continue reading

Opposition Weakening? Robredo’s Ratings Down, as Defections Hit Liberal Party

Vice President Leni Robredo’s March trust rating plunged across all areas and socio-economic classes. Her net trust rating is at 30%, down from 45% last December. Her rating was at a high of 63% in June and 58% in September. Her declining numbers reflect what seems like a further weakening of opposition forces, with the Liberal Party experiencing a number of defections of its members to the ruling PDP-Laban. The administration’s plan to turn pork barrel mastermind Janet Napoles into a state witness may also be bringing a… Continue reading

After Criticizing Aquino’s Tax Waiver for Power Producers, Duterte Releases Similar Order

In 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte sharply criticized former president Benigno Aquino III for waiving tax liabilities amounting to P6 billion of a company running a power plant in southern Luzon. Aquino had issued an order in 2011 that condoned the company’s real property taxes related to the power plant because it would trigger massive tax liabilities on the part of the National Power Corporation, trigger cross-defaults, and… Continue reading