Philippines home affairs and society


8 OCTOBER 2019

Filipino performance artist and activist Carlos Celdran dies

Celdran died in Madrid, where he had been living since January of this year


MILF rebels hand in guns in Philippines as part of treaty to end decades-long separatist insurgency

Muslim rebels in the mainly Catholic Philippines began handing over their guns to independent foreign monitors on Saturday, as part of a treaty aimed at ending a decades-long separatist insurgency that has left about 150,000 people dead


Top Philippine court refuses to legalise gay marriage

A landmark case to legalise gay marriage was rejected by the Philippines’ highest court on Tuesday, but LGBT advocates in the deeply Catholic nation vowed to push their battle in the legislature

27 AUGUST 2019

Philippines: Third Communist Party Negotiator Arrested

Philippine police arrested a third  peace negotiator for the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) as part of a crackdown ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte, after four police were killed last month in an ambush in central Negros Oriental province, officials said Tuesday

18 JULY 2019

7,800 police in Philippines punished for deadly drug raids

Thousands of Philippine police officers have received administrative punishments with more than 2,000 dismissed for wrongdoings during raids where drug suspects were killed under the president’s crackdown, officials said Thursday

12 JULY 2019

Anti-China protests in the Philippines mark third anniversary of Manila’s South China Sea legal victory

Dozens of protesters on Friday staged a rally in front of the Chinese consulate in Manila as the Philippines marked the third anniversary of its arbitral victory over China at The Hague, which rejected Beijing’s historical claims to resources in the South China Sea

8 JULY 2019

Amnesty seeks international probe to end Philippine killings

Amnesty International urgently called for international pressure and an immediate UN investigation to help end what it says are possible crimes against humanity in the Philippine president’s bloody anti-drug crackdown

7 JUNE 2019

UN rights experts seek inquiry into Philippines killings

United Nations human rights experts called for an international investigation into “a staggering number” of police killings linked to a crackdown on drugs in the Philippines

15 MAY 2019

Duterte’s children elected as Philippines President consolidates power in midterms

Three of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s children posted resounding victories in the country’s midterm elections this week as voters responded to what was largely seen as a referendum on the controversial leader’s first three years in office with a strong vote of support

14 MAY 2019

End of a dynasty? House of Estrada the biggest loser in Philippine midterm elections

In Manila, disgraced former president Joseph Estrada, 82, lost his bid for a third term as mayor – a defeat that looked set to be shared by all the rest of his family members contesting in the elections

13 MAY 2019

Philippines votes in election expected to deliver greater power for Duterte

Filipinos headed to the polls on Monday in a vote that is expected to strengthen President Rodrigo Duterte’s grip on power, opening the way for him to deliver on pledges to restore the death penalty and rewrite the constitution

22 APRIL 2019

Philippines warns journalists out to ‘destroy’ Duterte

Philippine government on Monday (Apr 22) warned the press against plotting to “destroy” President Rodrigo Duterte’s government, as his spokesman accused journalists of spreading fake news

20 APRIL 2019

Former Asean secretary-general Rodolfo Severino dies, aged 82

Respected diplomat and former secretary-general of Asean Rodolfo Severino Jr died on Friday night (April 19), the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Saturday

15 APRIL 2019

Philippine President Duterte signs largest national budget of $96.8b, after months of delay

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday (April 15) signed a 3.7 trillion peso (S$96.8 billion) budget for this year, its largest ever, ending months of impasse that forced the South-east Asian country to cuts its growth target

9 APRIL 2019

‘Almost an invasion’: Protesters in Philippines slam Duterte for weak response over disputes in South China Sea

Protesters descended on the Chinese embassy in Manila on Tuesday to oppose China’s growing sway in the Philippines, as tensions continue to rise over Beijing’s presence in the contested South China Sea

29 MARCH 2019

Maria Ressa, founder of news site Rappler and Duterte critic, arrested again

Prominent Philippine journalist Maria Ressa has been re-arrested at Manila airport, allegedly for violating laws barring foreign ownership of media

27 MARCH 2019

Philippine journalist and prominent Duterte critic Maria Ressa charged again

Philippine authorities said Wednesday (Mar 27) they had filed more criminal charges against Maria Ressa, a veteran reporter and prominent critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, six weeks after detaining her overnight

16 MARCH 2019

Philippines leaves International Criminal Court as it probes Duterte’s drugs crackdown

The Philippines will from Sunday (March 17) no longer be part of the treaty that created the International Criminal Court (ICC)

8 MARCH 2018

Thousands march against Philippine President Duterte on International Women’s Day

Thousands of women took to the streets of Manila on Friday (March 8) in protest against President Rodrigo Duterte’s alleged misogyny while an exhibition marking International Women’s Day exhibited the clothes of Philippine rape victims

4 MARCH 2019

Duterte stresses desire to rename Philippines

President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday reiterated his desire to change the name of the Philippines weeks after he said the late president Ferdinand Marcos was right in wanting to change the country’s name to “Maharlika.”

28 FEBRUARY 2019

Philippines’ Duterte offers citizenship to Rohingyas

The president Rodrigo Duterte offers Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh citizenship as a sign of humanitarian assistance

22 FEBRUARY 2019

Rebels named leaders of Philippine Muslim territory in Mindanao

The Philippines on Friday (Feb 22) handed over the reins of a new Muslim-led territory on southern Mindanao island to rebel leaders who waged a decades-long fight for autonomy, but are now tasked with securing peace and prosperity

13 FEBRUARY 2019

Maria Ressa, journalist and Duterte critic, arrested in Philippines

Maria Ressa, a high-profile Philippine journalist and vocal critic of the country’s president, was arrested Wednesday in connection with “cyber libel” charges against Rappler, the news site she oversees


Filipino Mgr Pabillo defends Christian values against the president’s ‘careless and vulgar’ language

Speaking about Duterte’s attacks on the Church, the auxiliary bishop of Manila is dismayed by “so much bullying and ‘gutter-talk’,” which have “polluted our public discourse”. In his view, “’divide and rule’ leadership tactics have been used. There is a deliberate strategy to antagonize a certain sector of society.”

27 JANUARY 2019

Deadly bombs target Jolo cathedral in south Philippines

At least 27 people have been killed in two explosions outside a church during Sunday Mass in the southern Philippines. The government has vowed to hunt down the “terrorists” responsible in the mainly Muslim region

25 JANUARY 2019

Southern Philippines backs Muslim self-rule in landslide result

On Friday, the election commission declared the Bangsamoro Organic Law plebiscite “ratified”, four days after the vote was held. Almost 1.6 million voted yes, while 250,000 voted no

21 JANUARY 2019

Southern Philippines Stages Historic Vote on Muslim Autonomy

Hundreds of thousands of voters trooped to polling centers in the southern Philippines on Monday amid some reports of delays and harassment, in a historic referendum on ratifying a law to give autonomy to Muslims in the violence-plagued Mindanao region

18 JANUARY 2019

Philippines: Duterte Joins Rally to Push for Muslim Autonomy Law

President Rodrigo Duterte traveled to the southern Philippines on Friday to push for the ratification of a law designed to give former Muslim rebels in the region control over an autonomous homeland ahead of Monday’s vote

15 JANUARY 2019

Philippines Drops Case Against Senior Communist Rebel Rafael Baylosis

A Philippine court threw out charges Tuesday against a 69-year-old Filipino accused by the military of being a top leader of the country’s long-running communist insurgency, and ordered the government to free him

11 JANUARY 2019

Philippines’ Duterte launches new tirade against Catholic Church

President Rodrigo Duterte has denounced bishops in the Catholic-majority country as “sons of b*****s”, renewing his attacks on the church that has criticised him over his bloody war on drugs

4 JANUARY 2019

Philippine Police Gun Down Ex-Mayor Accused by Duterte of Drug Trafficking

Talib Abo Sr., ex-mayor of Parang town in Maguindanao province, was killed after he pulled a gun on members of the anti-narcotics team who were searching his home in the southern city of Cotabato, according to Juvinal Azurin, regional director of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency

28 DECEMBER 2018

Final charge against Philippine ex-leader Arroyo dismissed

The last of a series of criminal charges against former Philippine president Gloria Arroyo has been dismissed, a court said, capping a remarkable comeback for the controversial former leader and Duterte ally

18 DECEMBER 2018

Official death toll in Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs exceeds 5,000

But rights groups say the actual number of people killed between July 2016 and November this year is closer to 12,000


Philippines’ Duterte: Kill those ‘useless’ Catholic bishops

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said his country’s Catholic bishops are “useless fools” and should be “killed” as the controversial leader stepped up his attack on the church, which has opposed his deadly war on drugs in the Southeast Asian archipelago


Rappler chief Maria Ressa returns to Manila to fight ‘ridiculous’ tax charges

A leading journalist and vocal critic of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has surrendered to a Manila court after arriving back in the country to fight tax charges that were filed in her absence

29 NOVEMBER 2018

Three police jailed for 40 years in first conviction over Philippine drug war killings

A Philippine court found three police officers guilty on Thursday of killing a student they alleged was a drug dealer, in the first known such conviction under the president’s deadly crackdown on drugs

10 NOVEMBER 2018

Philippine news site Rappler has criticised President Rodrigo Duterte – it will now face tax evasion charges

Philippine prosecutors said on Friday they will file tax evasion charges against a news website that has clashed with President Rodrigo Duterte, a case the outlet branded as an “intimidation” effort


Imelda Marcos sentenced to 42 years for corruption 

A Philippine court found former first lady Imelda Marcos guilty of corruption and ordered her arrest on Friday in a rare conviction among many cases that she plans to appeal to avoid jail and losing her seat in Congress

24 OCTOBER 2018

Federalism in the Philippines, 42 questions answered

A shift to a federal form of government in Philippines would inevitably touch a potentially explosive issue: the ownership and management of mineral resources

22 OCTOBER 2018

Philippine court rejects Duterte bid to have critic Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV arrested

A Philippine court on Monday rejected a petition by President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration to have his fiercest critic in the Senate arrested, in a legal setback for Duterte that the senator called a victory for democracy


Senator Antonio Trillanes, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s fiercest critic, arrested

A Philippine lawmaker fiercely critical of President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war was arrested on Tuesday on previously dismissed charges, a move condemned by watchdogs as persecution of the government’s opponents. Haut du formulaire


Duterte orders arrest of Philippine Senator Antonio Trillanes, an outspoken critic

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday revoked amnesty given to an opposition senator involved in a failed coup 15 years ago and ordered his arrest, in what would be the second detainment of a senator critical of the president

30 JULY 2018

Duterte Resuscitates Disgraced Philippine Ex-president Arroyo

The latest twist in the political life of Magapagal-Arroyo – once president (and herself a daughter of a former president), once vice president waiting in the wings, once senator, once a cabinet member for her background in economics – will, in the next few months, reveal what was at stake

28 JULY 2018

Historic autonomy deal for Philippine Muslims takes aim at 50 years of strife

A landmark local autonomy law passed this week in the Philippine capital, Manila, gives restive Muslim Filipinos a new sense of hope for resolving a half-century-old conflict over self-rule that has killed 120,000 people and attracted the terrorist group Islamic State

23 JULY 2018

Ex-Philippine president Gloria Arroyo gets House Speaker job

Former Philippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was elected Speaker of the lower house of Congress on Monday (July 23), following a dramatic move by lawmakers to replace a loyalist of President Rodrigo Duterte with one of his most influential allies

17 JULY 2018

Duterte now banned from running in 2022 presidential elections under draft federal charter

“The incumbent President is prohibited from running as President in the 2022 elections under the Constitution,” read Section 2 of the revised Article XXII or “Transitory Provisions” under the proposed federal Constitution

25 JUNE 2018

Philippine president slammed for calling God ‘stupid’

The Philippine president, notorious for having cursed the pope and world leaders like former US President Barack Obama, has sparked new outrage by calling God “stupid” in Asia’s largest Catholic country–18458

20 JUNE 2018

Philippine ex-president Benigno Aquino indicted for budget misuse

Former Philippine President Benigno Aquino has been indicted over his decision to reallocate $1.67bn in government funds to a programme later declared by the country’s top court as unconstitutional

18 JUNE 2018

Australian nun Sister Patricia Fox wins appeal to stay in Philippines

Department of Justice says authorities erred in cancelling missionary visa, but 71-year-old could still be deported over separate case

30 MAY 2018

Philippine Congress passes autonomy bill for volatile Muslim region

The Philippines moved a step closer on Wednesday (May 30) to ending decades of conflict on its resource-rich island of Mindanao, after lawmakers approved a bill that will eventually allow self-rule for the country’s Muslim minority

11 MAY 2018

Philippines chief justice, Duterte’s critic, expelled by Supreme Court colleagues

The Philippine Supreme Court voted on Friday to remove Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno for allegedly failing to file statements of assets and liabilities as required by law

9 MAY 2018

Manila’s top envoy to Beijing hails landmark deal opening up China to influx of 500,000 migrant workers

A top-level Philippine envoy to Beijing on Wednesday revealed that the two countries were close to a deal which would see the number of Filipino migrants employed in China swell to 500,000 – more than double the estimated current total

9 APRIL 2018

Duterte urges Congress to ‘fast-track’ impeachment of top judge

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has told members of parliament they must “fast-track” the impeachment of the country’s top judge after she hinted that he might be behind the moves to sack her

2 APRIL 2018

Philippines: Detained senator De Lima calls for greater protection of rights defenders under Duterte

Detained senator Leila de Lima renewed her call for greater protection for human rights defenders in the Philippines as the threat number of attacks against continues to rise under President Rodrigo Duterte

11 MARCH 2018

At least 44 militants killed in clash with Philippines troops

At least 44 pro-Daesh militants were killed and 26 more were wounded when Philippine soldiers shelled positions held by the rebels in southern Maguindanao province, the army said on Sunday

5 MARCH 2018

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to skip Asean summit in Australia amid backlash over human rights record

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is skipping a regional summit in Australia this month, his spokesman said Monday, as he faces international censure for Manila’s deadly drug war

26 FEBRUARY 2018

‘Happy anniversary’: Calls for Philippine senator De Lima’s release from prison

Human rights groups have marked the anniversary of de Lima’s incarceration by calling for an end to her imprisonment. Parliamentarians from across Southeast Asia reiterated their call for her immediate and unconditional release

21 FEBRUARY 2018

Duterte bans Rappler reporters from presidential palace

The president of the Philippines has ordered that two journalists be banned from entering the presidential palace, an act one Filipino reporters’ rights group described as “appalling and extremely unbecoming” of a president

19 FEBRUARY 2018

Philippines arrests suspected former leader of Daesh Takfiri

Philippine police have arrested a suspected former leader of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group during a raid on his apartment in the capital Manila


ICC examining complaint against Duterte over drug war deaths

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has informed the Philippines that it has begun a preliminary examination of a complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte that accuses him of crimes against humanity, his spokesman said on Thursday


Philippine security forces capture top Maoist guerilla leader following the failure of peace talks

Philippine security forces arrested the head of the Communist movement’s armed wing following President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to target guerilla leaders after peace talks collapsed, police and human rights lawyers said on Thursday

29 JANUARY 2018

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte suspends anti-graft official after bank records ‘leak’

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday punished an anti-graft prosecutor suspected of leaking his bank records after an opposition politician had accused Duterte of corruption

8 JANUARY 2018

 Duterte’s pastor takes over Catholic leadership, signalling better ties

Strained relations between President Rodrigo Duterte and the Catholic Church are likely to improve with the top Catholic religious leaders in Davao City – Duterte’s hometown – taking over the helm of one of the institutions staunchly critical of Duterte

20 DECEMBER 2017

Philippine President Duterte declares unilateral Christmas ceasefire with communist rebels

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Mr Duterte ordered the army and police to suspend offensive operations from December 24 to January 2 “to lessen the apprehension of the public this Christmas season”

19 DECEMBER 2017

Philippine Navy chief sacked over P16-B frigate contract

Navy Flag Officer in Command (FOIC) Vice Adm. Ronald Joseph Mercado was sacked on Tuesday amid controversy involving a weapons system procurement plan

13 DECEMBER 2017

Philippines: Martial law extended in Mindanao for another year

The Philippine Congress on Wednesday approved President Rodrigo Duterte’s request to extend martial law in the entire Mindanao island for one year, enraging civil society, church and militant groups


Duterte declares CPP, NPA as terrorist organizations

Rodrigo Duterte has signed a proclamation declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) as terrorist organizations

10 NOVEMBER 2017

Rodrigo Duterte, Philippines president says he killed someone as teenager

“At 16, I killed someone,” he told Filipinos in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang, where he is attending a regional summit. He said he stabbed the person “just over a look”


Philippines remains one of the most dangerous places on earth for journalists

The Philippines has been once again been recognised as one of the world’s most deadly countries for journalists, who are targeted by corrupt political and business actors with impunity


Philippines slams 39 countries calling for end to killings

The Philippine government has denounced 39 mostly Western nations, including the United States, Britain and France, which have urged it to end thousands of killings under President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-drug crackdown and allow an investigation in cooperation with the international community


Rodrigo Duterte defends his decision to declare a special non-working holiday in Ilocos Norte on dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ 100th birth anniversary

The outspoken Duterte, who has previously hailed Marcos as the country’s best-ever president, has declared the anniversary a holiday in Marcos’ home province of Ilocos Norte where they still wield political power

21 AUGUST 2017

Thousands demand end to killings in Duterte’s drug war

Thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets of the Philippine capital of Manila to denounce President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, as they marked the death anniversary of one of the country’s pro-democracy heroes

22 JULY 2017

Philippines votes to extend martial law in south until end of 2017

The Philippine congress on Saturday voted to extend president Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of martial law in the south until the end of the year to defeat Islamist militants

19 JULY 2017

Philippine government calls off formal talks, backchannel negotiations with Reds

Negotiations between the government and communists will not resume next month and even informal talks have been canceled because of recent guerrilla attacks

17 JULY 2017

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte offers Muslim self-rule to counter ISIS

President Rodrigo Duterte offered self-rule to the Philippines’ Muslim minority on Monday (July 17) in an attempt to defeat Islamist militants who have seized a southern city in the gravest challenge to his year-old rule

29 JUNE 2017

The brutal war on drugs in the Philippines – in pictures

 A year on from the inauguration of President Rodrigo Duterte, his ‘war on drugs’ has claimed the lives of more than 7,000 Filipinos, according to Human Rights Watch

29 MAY 2017

Philippines calls off peace talks with Communist rebels

The Philippine government on Sunday formally called off the latest round of peace talks with communist insurgents, after the parties failed to resolve a dispute over a rebel order for fighters to step up attacks

23 MAY 2017

Duterte declares martial law in Mindanao

President Rodrigo Duterte on 10 p.m. Tuesday declared martial law in the entire Mindanao island amid the ongoing clashes between government troops and Maute group terrorists in Marawi City, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said

18 MAY 2017

Philippines rejects millions in EU development aid

The Philippines has rejected €250 million in development assistance from the European Union due to perceived interference in domestic matters

11 APRIL 2017

Abu Sayyaf spokesman and kidnapping mastermind Muamar Askali killed in Bohol clashes

Soldiers battling Abu Sayyaf in central Philippines are reported to have killed a key commander of the armed group who had been blamed for the beheadings of two Canadians and a German hostage

17 MARCH 2017

European Parliament calls for De Lima’s release and probe on war on drugs in Philippines

Manila was up in arms Friday over a European Parliament resolution calling for the release of Sen. Leila de Lima from detention, with Philippine officials condemning it as an unwarranted intrusion into internal affairs

15 MARCH 2017

On the Communist Party of the Philippines’ support for fascistic President Duterte

Published by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI)

14 MARCH 2017

Hard-hitting’ journalist slain in Philippines

Gunmen have shot dead a controversial newspaper columnist in the Philippines, media groups said on Tuesday, marking the latest journalist death in one of the world’s most dangerous nations for reporters

8 MARCH 2017

Philippines lawmakers dismiss foreign minister Perfecto Yasay amid scrutiny over US citizenship

Philippine lawmakers on Wednesday rejected the appointment of Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay after ruling he lied to them about being an American Citizen

Philippines house overwhelmingly approves re-imposition death penalty

The Philippine House of Representatives has approved a bill to restore the death penalty, 11 years after it was abolished. The government has called the measure “a vital tool” in Duterte’s war on drugs

27 FEBRUARY 2017

Philippines: Liberal Party senators, closed to De Lima, are expelled from their key posts in the Senate

Members of the LP in the Senate have been vocal about their opposition to the Duterte administration’s war on drugs and its proposal to reimpose capital punishment

24 FEBRUARY 2017

Philippines senator Leila de Lima who branded President Duterte ‘serial killer’ arrested on drug charges

The highest-profile critic of Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal drug war was arrested on Friday on charges she said were meant to silence her, but she vowed to keep fighting the “sociopathic serial killer”

18 FEBRUARY 2917

Thousands of Filipino Catholics march against death penalty, war on drugs

Thousands of Roman Catholics marched in the Philippines capital Manila on Saturday in the biggest gathering denouncing extra-judicial killings and a government plan to reimpose the death penalty for criminals


Philippine army arrests communist rebel leader after peace bid collapses

Philippine soldiers arrested communist rebel leader, days after President Rodrigo Duterte scrapped a ceasefire with the insurgents and as clashes between them and the army erupted in several places


Philippines’ Duterte scraps peace talks with communist rebels

 Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said the government is “cancelling” its peace talks with the communist rebels

31 JANUARY 2017

Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war could constitute crime against humanity, Amnesty International report says

A wave of drug-related killings in the Philippines appears to be “systematic, planned and organised” by authorities and could constitute crimes against humanity, according to an Amnesty International report

27 JANUARY 2017

Filipinos approve Duterte’s position to seek security and defense cooperation with China and Russia

Many Filipinos approve of President Rodrigo Duterte’s position to seek security and defense cooperation with China and Russia, the latest Pulse Asia survey showed

26 JANUARY 2017

Philippine talks with communist rebels end with no deal on truce

A third round of peace talks between the Philippines and communist rebels ended Wednesday with no deal on a permanent ceasefire the government had billed as its primary goal

30 DECEMBER 2016

Philippine Economic Growth on Track to Lead Southeast Asia

The Philippine economy likely grew faster than any other in Southeast Asia this year, aided by stronger diplomacy with China and Japan and increased spending on infrastructure and the call-center industry

22 DECEMBER 2016

Philippines journalist killed after criticising officials over illegal drug lab

A Philippine provincial newspaper publisher has been shot dead after writing a column alleging official negligence over a recently discovered methamphetamine laboratory, in the first killing of a journalist during the country’s war on drugs


Philippines VP vows to take on Duterte after cabinet exit

Philippines Vice President Leni Robredo resigned from the cabinet on Monday but vowed to lead the opposition and challenge the policies of President Rodrigo Duterte, including his deadly war on drugs and moves to reinstate the death penalty

18 NOVEMBER 2016

Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos given controversial hero’s burial

The former Philippine dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, has been given a hero’s burial with military honours, a deeply controversial move three decades after he was ousted in a “People Power” revolution


Philippine dictator Marcos allowed hero’s burial, Supreme Court rules

Ex-Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos can be buried at the national heroes’ cemetery, the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday in a hugely controversial verdict that critics warned would whitewash his crimes and divide the nation

19 OCTOBER 2016

Duterte always loved communists – except when he was killing them

When Washington Post correspondent Keith Richburg paid a call on Davao City police chief in 1987, he found himself following a trail of blood up the wooden stairs to the Philippine Constabulary colonel’s office. The city’s mayor then was Rodrigo Duterte


Philippine Maoist guerrillas say won’t give up arms as part of peace deal

 Philippine Maoist guerrillas will not surrender their weapons even if a peace deal is reached with the government of President Rodrigo Duterte, the rebels’chief negotiator said on Thursday (Sept 29), a potential deal-breaker in the current talks


Ending the use of child soldiers in the Philippines

The United Nations and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have pledged to safeguard the rights of children and have implemented an action plan to ensure that children affected by armed conflicts are better protected


Protests mark 44th Anniversary of Declaration of Martial Law in Philippines

 Ahead of the 44th anniversary of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos’s declaration of martial law, which was announced on September 23, 1972, thousands of students and activists protested throughout the week


Philippines: Threats against journalists denounced

International and local journalists’ groups have strongly condemned online threats made by alleged pro-government supporters to at least two female journalists in the Philippines, urging President Rodrigo Duterte to launch an investigation and penalise the perpetrators


26 AUGUST 2016

Philippine government, communist rebels agree on indefinite truce

The Philippine government and Communist guerrillas have agreed to an indefinite extension to a ceasefire to facilitate talks on a peace deal, Norway, which is playing the role of intermediary, announced on Friday

20 AUGUST 2016

Philippines and communist rebels agree on ceasefire

The Philippine government and communist rebels have reached a truce, ahead of the resumption of peace talks in Norway, and just a week after President Rodrigo Duterte abruptly called off a unilateral ceasefire

14 AUGUST 2016

Filipinos gather in the hundreds to protest hero’s burial for dictator Ferdinand Marcos

Hundreds of people in the Philippines rallied in stormy weather to protest after the country’s president, Rodrigo Duterte, approved the burial of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos in a heroes’ cemetery


30 JULY 2016

Philippines’ Duterte withdraws communist ceasefire

Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday (July 30) withdrew a unilateral ceasefire with communist rebels after his ultimatum for the group to reciprocate lapsed

25 JULY 2016

Philippines’ Duterte declares ceasefire with communists

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has announced a unilateral ceasefire with communist fighters, saying it is his “dream” to end the armed struggle which has raged for décades.

Philippine court clears former president Arroyo of plunder, orders her freed

 The Philippine Supreme Court has dismissed a plunder charge against former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, ordering her immediate release after nearly five years of hospital detention

30 JUNE 2016

Rodrigo Duterte sworn in as Philippine President and Leni Robredo as vice-president

The incoming president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, has taken office vowing to launch a violent crack down on crimes and criminals. But critics fear his support for vigilantism will worsen the cycle of violence

25 JUNE 2016

Hopes of peace for communist insurgents in Philippines

The Philippine government and Maoist rebels are confident that talks will end a half-century conflict that has killed 40,000 people. The optimism is reinforced by established trust between the president-elect and rebels

21 JUNE 2016

Philippine government, communist rebels to end hostilities for peace talks

The Philippines and communist guerrillas are planning to each declare ceasefires before formal peace talks resume next month in Norway, the first in 30 years, government and rebels negotiators said on Tuesday

20 JUNE 2016

Rodrigo Duterte holds historic meeting with rival Islamist rebels in the southern Philippines

Incoming Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte has held a historic meeting with two rival Islamist rebel groups in the country’s South

31 MAY 2016

Philippines’ Duterte endorses killing corrupt journalists

In a press conference called on Tuesday to announce his cabinet in his southern hometown of Davao, Duterte said journalists who took bribes or engaged in other corrupt activities also deserved to die

 30 MAY 2016

Philippine Parliament proclaims Rodrigo Duterte as the nation’s next president in his absence

The Philippine parliament on Monday (May 30) proclaimed Rodrigo Duterte the nation’s next president following his landslide election win this month, but he snubbed the high-profile event.

28 MAY 2016

Philippines: Crime journalist shot dead in Manila, 34th media member killed since 2010

A journalist, Alex Balcoba, has been killed by unidentified gunmen near a watch store owned by his family in the Filipino capital of Manila, making his death the 34th since former president Benigno Aquino III came into power in 2010

 16 MAY 2016

Philippines incoming president offers olive branch, posts to rebels

Philippines President-Elect Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday he would pursue peace talks with Marxist guerrillas and as an olive branch would offer government roles to the Communist Party of the Philippines, including its exiled founder

15 MAY 2016

Philippines: Duterte vows to bring back death penalty

Philippines President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to reintroduce capital punishment and give security forces permission to shoot to kill

12 MAY 2016

Philippines 2016 election was ‘one of the cleanest and safest in history’

Based on overall statistics, the Philippines held “one of the cleanest and safest elections” in its history on Monday, which saw the landslide victory of Rodrigo ‘Rody’ Duterte, a candidate known for his blunt speech and tendency to make controversial statements, earning him comparisons to U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump.

10 MAY 2016

Opinion: Duterte presidency is a threat to democracy… and other comments

Rodrigo Duterte’s victory in the presidential election is a crushing defeat for the country’s political establishment and poses a gargantuan challenge for democracy in the Philippines, writes DW’s Thomas Latschan.

9 MAY 2016

Duterte wins Philippine presidential vote: Poll monitor

Anti-establishment firebrand Rodrigo Duterte secured a huge win in the Philippine presidential elections, according to a poll monitor, after an incendiary campaign dominated by his profanity-laced vows to kill criminals

1 MAY 2016

Islamist militant rebels release 10 Indonesian hostages in Philippines

Ten Indonesian sailors held hostage by Abu Sayyaf Islamic militants returned home Sunday after being freed in the southern Philippines, less than a week after the gunmen beheaded a Canadian captive.

28 APRIL 2016

Philippine troops attack militants holding foreign hostages

Philippine warplanes on Thursday (Apr 28) attacked militants holding 20 foreign hostages on a remote southern island, but there was no sign of the captives, the military said.

9  APRIL 2016

18 soldiers killed by Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines

At least 18 soldiers were killed and more than 50 others wounded on Saturday in fierce fighting with the armed group Abu Sayyaf and allied fighters on a southern island in the Philippines

23 MARCH 2016

The return of the Marcoses

The Philippines is known for dismissing despots. But ahead of this year’s presidential election Mong Palatino asks why there is still so much love for the family of a former dictator

25 FEBRUARY 2016

Philippines celebrates 30th anniversary of revolution

The Philippines has marked the 30th anniversary of the 1986 revolution that ended the 20-year rule of dictator Ferdinand Marcos. President Benigno Aquino III attended a ceremony on Thursday, along with other officials at the People Power Monument in Quezon City, north of the capital Manila.

18 FEBRUARY 2016

Muddy relations for IS in the Philippines

Is the ‘Islamic State’ (IS) gaining a foothold in the Philippines? The declaration of the first IS wilayat (province) in Southeast Asia appeared possible after Filipino and Malaysian militants from previously separate jihadist groups pledged allegiance to IS. But there is little solid evidence of a formal relationship between Mindanao and IS.


Philippines presidential election campaign kicks off

The pandemonium of the election season begins for national candidates on Tuesday, Feb. 9. From the daily battles in the social media, word war and seesawing polls, this time the candidates will go from one city to another, one province to another, to hold a“variety show-like” campaign with dancing and singing celebrities to entice voter support.

28 JANUARY 2016

A bright future for the Philippines

Forecasting suggests that 2016 could be a good year for the Philippine economy. Both the Asian Development Bank and the IMF predict that the Philippines will grow at about 6 per cent in 2016, which is similar to the figure for the previous year. This is nearly twice the IMF’s 2016 forecast of 3.4 per cent for the world economy, which is transitioning to a new pattern of growth.

26 JANUARY 2016

Stormy seas ahead for the Philippine economy?

The Philippines has performed well in the past few years relative to its peers. It demonstrated great resilience to exogenous shocks that would have undone less capable economies. But will it be able to sustain its positive economic position?


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