Rodrigo Duterte

Duterte to open door for European and North Asian states to join ASEAN

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.


Secret cells: a new low for the PNP and the war on drugs

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.





Gina Lopez wreaks havoc on the Philippine mining industry

A staunch environmentalist, environment secretary Gina Lopez has brought the mining sector to its knees. The business mining community is pursuing legal remedies to counter Gina’s decisions. Whose interests will triumph eventually?



Duterte calls communist rebels a “terrorist group”

After a promising start to the peace process, the lack of trust between the government and the communist rebels has shattered the hope of ending decades of guerrilla warfare. The stage is set for an all-out offensive against each other.