Decreased US military support and favourable conditions for extremist cells to operate are bringing ISIS insurgents to the Philippines.
With limited public information over proposed Chinese loans, Duterte may be leading a blindfolded public straight into an economic crisis.
With Marawi in crisis, Duterte turns to self-rule for Muslims to bring extremism under control. It might be the best chance he has of tackling radical extremism.
The occupation and siege of Marawi exposed the unpreparedness of the Philippines government. Groups are expected to capitalise on this weakness with more attacks to follow.
China has wasted no time stepping up its audacious bid to exert more control over ASEAN following Donald Trump’s election as US president. Southeast Asian nations find themselves in an uncomfortable position.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has openly supported the idea of Mongolia and Turkey – neither of which are Southeast Asian countries – joining ASEAN. The idea is a non-starter but it has led to some calls for ASEAN’s policy of rotating its chairmanship to be reconsidered.
Even for a police force that President Duterte says is “corrupt to the core”, illegally detaining suspects in a secret cell is a shocking abuse of their powers. The Filipino president is fighting his war on drugs while simultaneously battling with a police force that he does not trust.
Duterte’s erratic foreign policy decisions threaten to destabilise the intricate relationship between the US and China.
President Duterte is dead serious in his fight against drugs. He pushed his allies in Congress to expedite the passing of the death penalty bill to strengthen the ongoing war on drugs.
Duterte’s war on drugs is set to resume and in the near term will expand to include minors. Criminal responsibility will drop from 15 to nine years old.