Category Archives: Philippines

De Lima’s arrest represents sharp turn against Philippine rule of law

Leila de Lima, a top Duterte critic, was jailed Friday on drug-related corruption charges in the Philippines.

Nearly 7,000 people have died in the Philippines since controversial president Rodrigo Duterte launched his ‘drug war’ last July, following his insurgent populist victory.

Last week, the chief domestic critic of Duterte’s human rights record, senator Leila de Lima, was imprisoned on charges of drug-related corruption — charges that have been widely met with disgust from human rights groups who say that her arrest is politically motivated.

Since taking power, Duterte has bragged about killing drug dealers himself when he served as mayor of of Davao City, all while encouraging police (and others) to engage in extrajudicial killings of suspected drug dealers. Last September, Duterte threatened to kill up to 3 million drug addicts, likening himself to Adolf Hitler.

As human rights watchdogs across the world continue to sound alarms, Duterte’s encouragement is already showing signs of spiraling out of control, with far more suspected criminals killed at the hands of vigilante groups than the official police. A South Korean businessman was strangled to death in policy custody, forcing even the sharp-tongued Duterte to pause for a moment. Nevertheless, Duterte has pledged to continue his aggressive campaign through the end of his six-year presidential term in 2022. His blunt speaking, often in vulgar terms, has brought him popularity with an electorate that elected him to be tough on crime and on drug use. Even as Duterte risks becoming an international pariah over human rights, Philippines still give him an 83% approval rating as of the beginning of 2017.

De Lima, who previously served as the chair of the Philippine Commission on Human Rights under former president Gloria Macagapal-Arroyo and as the country’s justice secretary under Benigno (‘NoyNoy’) Aquino III from 2010 to 2015, has called Duterte a ‘murderer’ and a ‘sociopathic serial killer.’ De Lima has led the fight against Duterte’s drug war from the Senate, the 24-member upper house of the Philippine Congress. Last September, Duterte’s allies removed her from the Senate’s Justice and Human Rights Committee, where she hoped to investigate the abuses of the drug war, most notably the extrajudicial killings.

The two politicians have a difficult history. In 2009, when she was still heading the human rights commission, De Lima first investigated rumors of ‘death squads’ in Davao City, where Duterte served as mayor for over two decades, for the first time in 1988, prior to his election to the presidency last May.

Upon surrendering to authorities Friday morning, De Lima embraced her new, jarring role as one of the world’s most prominent political prisoners: Continue reading De Lima’s arrest represents sharp turn against Philippine rule of law

Liberal VP candidate Robredo holds off Marcos heir in fight for Coconut Palace

Lena Robredo of the governing Liberal Party is emerging as the winner of the Philippine vice presidential contest. (Facebook)
Leni Robredo of the governing Liberal Party is emerging as the winner of the Philippine vice presidential contest. (Facebook)

For a country that just elected a foul-mouthed, tough-talking  and controversial strongman to the presidency, it was easy enough to believe that same electorate would also choose a similar strongman as vice president.philippines

As returns come in from the May 9 general election in the Philippines, voters have delivered Rodrigo Duterte a strong victory in the race to become their next president. But they also seem to have had last-minute doubts about handing the vice presidency to Ferdinand ‘BongBong’ Marcos, Jr.

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RELATED: Philippines considers both
presidential strongman, Marcos restoration

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Instead, defying polls throughout the campaign that gave Marcos a slight lead, the narrow winner (for now) is Maria Leonor ‘Leni’ Robredo, the candidate of the Partido Liberal ng Pilipinas (Liberal Party), which has governed the world’s 12th-most populous country for the last six years under Benigno ‘NoyNoy’ Aquino III. Under Aquino, whose father struggled (and was ultimately assassinated) in the fight for a democratic Philippines, the economy has grown at rates of 6% or even higher (barring relatively lower 3% growth in 2011).

Ferdinand 'BongBong' Marcos, Jr., the son of the former Philippine strongman, is trailing in vote counts. (Facebook)
Ferdinand ‘BongBong’ Marcos, Jr., the son of the former Philippine strongman, is trailing in vote counts. (Facebook)

With over 96% of the votes counted, Robredo led with 35.1% to just 34.6% for Marcos, a slim margin of around 215,000 votes, though observers believe that, based on the outstanding results, Marcos is unlikely to take the lead. That’s despite Marcos’s nearly two-to-one advantage in metropolitan Manila, which includes both the capital city and the even more populous Quezon City.

Already, Marcos is complaining about election irregularities. That must come as something of an ironic shock to the rest of the world, which considers the Marcos name to be virtually synonymous with kleptocracy. The family was implicated in last month’s sensational ‘Panama Papers’ scandal over offshore tax havens.

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Robredo, who isn’t necessarily natural allies with Duterte, has indicated that she is willing to serve in a Duterte cabinet and, in turn, Duterte’s spokesperson has confirmed that he will offer a cabinet position to Robredo.

Continue reading Liberal VP candidate Robredo holds off Marcos heir in fight for Coconut Palace

Philippines considers both presidential strongman, Marcos restoration

Fists in the air, Rodrigo Duterte is leading the polls to become the next president of the Philippines. (Facebook)
Fists in the air, Rodrigo Duterte is leading the polls to become the next president of the Philippines. (Facebook)

It’s hard not to think of Rodrigo Duterte as the Donald Trump of the Philippines.philippines

But in truth, he’s more like Joseph Arpaio — a conservative, tough-on-crime kind of guy willing to do whatever it takes to clean up his city, human rights or the justice system be damned.

At age 71, ‘Rody’ Duterte, who has served for a total of 22 years as mayor of Davao City, has vaulted to a lead in the polls to become the leading presidential choice among voters in the Philippines when they go to the polls on May 9. It’s an election in which Philippines might turn from liberalism to illiberalism not only by electing a Duterte presidency, but also by supporting the restoration of the Marcos family — the son of Ferdinand Marcos, the country’s autocratic ruler from 1965 to 1986, is running for the vice presidency as well.

Duterte is a presidential candidate with tough talk on crime, corruption

Known domestically as the ‘punisher,’ Duterte is not a man to cross. He brags about killing criminals, especially drug dealers, with his own gun, taking extrajudicial justice into his own hands where he sees fit. He openly admitted last November to killing three rapists and kidnappers in Davao City, and he said last week that he would kill his own kids if he found out they were using drugs. Duterte has trekked across the country delivering a fiery nationalist stump speech, often with his fist raised in the air, a variant of which serves as his campaign logo. It’s not a subtle appeal Duterte is making to supporters, who also casually refer to him as ‘Duterte Harry.’

For the United States, the Philippines figures heavily in the growing US strategic and military interest in the Pacific Rim, and the outgoing Obama administration hopes that, in particular, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will draw the Philippines closer to the United States and further, economically speaking, from China. Today, officials in the administrations of both outgoing US president Barack Obama and outgoing Philippine president Benigno ‘NoyNoy’ Aquino III view the growing cooperation as mutually beneficial.

In no uncertain terms, a Duterte victory next Monday in the presidential election would make US-Philippine relations much more difficult.

It’s not a small matter. The Philippines is the world’s 12th-most populous country, with 103 million people and growing.

Davao City, the fourth largest in the country, lies in the far tropical south, and Duterte has presided over its transformation from a hub for communist and left-wing radicals to a case study in law and order. In a country where everyone seems to be worried most about corruption and crime, Duterte and reports of how he’s tamed Davao City over 20 years in power have captured the national zeitgeist. Elected to national office just once (18 years ago) throughout his  decades-long career, Duterte can also style himself as an outsider, relatively speaking. Like most politicians in the Philippines, Duterte comes from an influential family — his father was an attorney and a former governor of what used to be Dávao province.

But that’s where the similarity to most Philippine politicians ends.

Braggadocio about personally killing drug dealers in Davao City and his ‘take no prisoners’ approach to anti-crime efforts have touched a chord with voters. Reporters questioned him when he kicked off his campaign last December about organizing death squads and killing over 700 people; Duterte responded (only half-jokingly) that he had killed more like 1,700 people. Continue reading Philippines considers both presidential strongman, Marcos restoration

Who is Jojo Binay?


Although Monday’s midterm elections are a clear victory for ‘Team PNoy,’ the electoral coalition of the widely popular president, Benigno ‘NoyNoy’ Aquino III,  they aren’t necessarily a defeat for vice president Jejomar ‘Jojo’ Binay, the most visible member of the opposition coalition, and he’ll turn toward the  Philippine presidential election in 2016 in as good a position as any other potential contender.philippines

Aquino, who handily defeated former president Joseph Estrada in the May 2010 presidential election, chose senator Mar Roxas as his running mate when he abandoned his own presidential campaign to support Aquino for president.  But because Philippines vote separately on the president and the vice president, they elected Binay, and not Roxas, to the vice presidency.  Imagine a world where U.S. president Barack Obama was reelected in 2012, but instead of Democratic vice president Joe Biden, was forced to accept Republican Paul Ryan as vice president.

Although they head opposing political movements, Aquino and Binay have worked harmoniously together in office for the most part — it helps that they are presiding over one of the world’s booming economies, with 6.6% GDP growth in 2012 alone.  That factor, which brought so much success for ‘Team PNoy’ in the 2013 parliamentary elections, is likely to help favor Binay in the 2016 presidential contest.  Aquino won’t be able to run for reelection under the Philippine constitution, so Binay will be the senior incumbent running in 2016, and his advisers are already crowing that, notwithstanding the 2013 midterm elections, Binay is the man to beat in 2016Continue reading Who is Jojo Binay?

Plus ça change… Philippine midterm elections highlight the role of political dynasties


Election results are still being tallied in the Philippines (painfully slowly), but it’s been clear since Monday that the results would be good news for the incumbent president, Benigno ‘NoyNoy’ Aquino III.philippines

It’s a result that was wholly expected for the Aquino administration, which is riding a crest of popularity over the fastest-growing economy in Asia (short of the Chinese economy) and over its efforts to reduce corruption in the Philippines, including a zealous effort to prosecute Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Aquino’s predecessor as president.

But there’s another more fundamental lesson from the elections that’s hiding in plain sight — namely, the vast extent to which Philippine political power remains in the hands of the same set of elite families that have held power for decades, the ‘political dynasties’ that some Philippines claim contribute to high levels of corruption within the country:

[T]he country’s political landscape “is getting worse,” Bobby Tuazon, director for policy studies at the Centre for People Empowerment in Governance, told Al Jazeera.  Tuazon projected that when all votes are counted, 21 of the 24 Senate seats will fall under the control of political families…. In the House of Representatives, about 80 percent of the 229 seats will also be dominated by dynasties….

“A dynasty, is a dynasty, is a dynasty,” Raymond Palatino, a youth sector representative in Congress, told Al Jazeera. “I refuse to believe that out of a population of 92 million, only a few families have this monopoly of intellect, passion and intention to serve our people.”

It’s a phenomenon that finds its genesis in Spanish colonial times, with mestizo (illustrado) families holding a disproportionate share of power that continued through American occupation and, after 1946, Philippine independence.  Some international election monitors have even recommended an anti-dynasty law.

That new generations of the same political dynasties have been elected to office isn’t necessarily an indication of anything untoward — Canada’s new Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau is the son of a former prime minister and U.S. president George W. Bush was himself the son of a former president.  But politics in the Philippines features an above-average level of political dynasty in a part of the world where strong political families are common, such as the Bhutto family’s role in Pakistani politics or the Gandhi-Nehru family role in Indian politics.

For all the credit given to Aquino’s administration over the past three years, it’s inescapable that the current president is himself part of a dominant political dynasty in Philippine politics, though his election and popularity owes much to the special role that his father, Benigno Aquino Jr., played as a critical opposition voice during the Marcos era (including his assassination in 1983 upon his return to Manila to lead the call for change), and the role of his mother, Corazon Aquino, in assuming the post-Marcos presidency.  But one of the 12 candidates who has been elected to the 24-member Philippine Senate is Paolo “Bam” Aquino IV, the 36-year-old nephew of the president, bringing yet another generation of the Aquino family into power.

Philippines chose one-half of the Senate and the entire House of Representatives in Monday’s midterm elections.  Though the members of the lower house are elected directly in single-member constituencies, the 12 members of the Senate are elected nationally — the top 12 vote-winners nationwide are ultimately elected, and though Bam Aquino is the only member of the ruling Partido Liberal ng Pilipinas (LP, Liberal Party of the Philippines) to be elected to the Senate, nine of the 12 are part of the ‘Team PNoy’ coalition that Aquino heads, which includes not only the Liberal Party, but also its traditional rival, the Partido Nacionalista (NP, Nacionalista Party).  Just three senators have been elected from the opposition coalition, the Nagkakaisang Alyansang Makabansa (UNA, United National Alliance).

Now more than 25 years after her husband’s fall from power, Imelda Marcos won reelection to the House of Representatives, as widely predicted, capping somewhat of a comeback for the Marcos family in recent years — her daughter, Imee Marcos, is the governor of the Philippine province of Ilocos Norte, and her son, Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr., was elected to his first term in the Senate in 2010 and is considering a presidential campaign in 2016.  Continue reading Plus ça change… Philippine midterm elections highlight the role of political dynasties

Four world elections in four days: Pakistan, Bulgaria, the Philippines, and British Columbia

It’s an incredibly busy weekend for world elections, with four key elections on three continents coming in the next four days.


First up, on Saturday, May 11, are national elections in Pakistan, where voters will determine the composition of the 342-member National Assembly, of which 272 seats will be determined by direct election in single-member constituencies on a first-past-the-post basis.Pakistan Flag Icon

With 180 million people and with nearly 60% of them under the age of 30, the elections in Pakistan will by far have the most global impact by implicating South Asia’s economy and not only regional, but global security with U.S. interests keen to mark a stable transition, especially after a particularly violent campaign season marked with attacks by the Pakistani Taliban.

The incumbent government led by the leftist Pakistan People’s Party, the party of the late prime minister Benazir Bhutto and Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari, is expected to falter.  Their expense is likely to come at the gain of the more conservative Pakistan Muslim League (N), led by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who is a slight favorite to once again become Pakistan’s prime minister on the strength of support in Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous province.  But the upstart nationalist, anti-corruption Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Movement for Justice) is expected to make a strong challenge under the leadership of Imran Khan, the charismatic former cricket star.

Read all of Suffragio‘s coverage of Pakistan here.


On Sunday, May 12, it’s Bulgaria’s turn, and voters will decide who controls the unicameral National Assembly .bulgaria flag

When the 2008 global financial crisis hit, the center-left Bulgarian Socialist Party was in office under prime minister Sergei Stanishev.  Voters promptly ejected Stanishev and the Socialists in the 2009 elections in exchange for a new conservative party, Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) under the wildly popular Boyko Borissov.  Since 2009, however, Borissov and GERB have become massively unpopular, and rising power costs and general economic malaise have made conditioned markedly worse.  The depressed economy and a wiretapping scandal have left the race essentially a tossup between the Socialists and GERB, though a number of small parties, including an far-right nationalist party and an ethnic Turkish party, are expected to win seats.

Of the 240 seats in the National Assembly, 209 will be determined by proportional representation (with a 4% threshold for entering parliament) and 31 will be determined in single-member districts.  With just 7.5 million people, Bulgaria is on the periphery of the European Union — if the result is close and no party wins a majority, it will cause some concern in Brussels, but because Bulgaria isn’t a member of the eurozone, that outcome wouldn’t necessarily cause any wider financial problems.

Read Suffragio‘s overview of the Bulgarian election here.

The Philippines

The action moves back to Asia on Monday, May 13, when the Philippines votes in midterm elections to determine one-half of the Senate’s 24 seats and all of the 222 seats in the Philippine House of Representatives.philippines

Although, with 94 million people, the Philippines has a population of just about half that of Pakistan, it’s a strategic country with an increasingly important economic, cultural and military alliance with the United States as U.S. policymakers ‘pivot’ to Asia.  It doesn’t hurt that the country’s economic growth rate in 2012 of 6.6% was the fastest in all of Asia, excepting the People’s Republic of China.

All of which means that the current president, Benigno ‘PNoy’ Aquino III, whose father was the opposition leader assassinated in 1983 and whose mother, Corazon Aquino, became Philippine president in 1986 after 21 years of rule by Ferdinand Marcos, is an incredibly popular head of state.  His electoral coalition, ‘Team PNoy,’ dominated by his own Liberal Party, is widely expected to make big gains, giving Aquino a little more help facing an unfriendly legislature.

Read all of Suffragio‘s coverage of The Philippines here.

British Columbia

Finally, on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, voters in Canada’s third-most populous province, British Columbia, will vote for all 85 members of its legislative assembly on Tuesday, May 14.BC flagCanada Flag Icon

The British Columbia Liberal Party is seeking its fourth consecutive mandate since Gordon Campbell won elections in 2001, 2005 and 2009.  After stepping down in 2011, his successor Christy Clark finds herself waging an uphill battle to win over the hearts of an electorate jaded by scandal after scandal.  The frontrunner to become the next premier is Adrian Dix, the leader of the British Columbia New Democratic Party, though his opposition to the Northern Gateway pipeline and a feisty campaign by the Liberals have whittled a 20-point lead two months ago to just single digits.

Though British Columbia is home to just 4.4 million people, the result will have important implications for Canada’s energy industry as well as potential implications for the NDP’s national future — a high-profile loss for Dix will only spell further trouble for the national party.

Read Suffragio‘s overview of the British Columbia election here.

Despite a wave of popularity for Aquino, the Marcos brand attempts a comeback


You may have thought you’d seen and heard the last from Imelda Marcos and her fancy footwear collection in the 1980s.  But at age 83, she’s still in many ways the ‘iron butterfly’ of the Philippines and she’s running for reelection in the Philippine midterm elections on Monday — and though she’s just one member among 222 in the Philippine House of Representatives, she’s a ‘shoe-in’ for reelection.philippines

That’s not just all — her son, Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr., the namesake of her late husband, Ferdinand Marcos, the leader of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986, is a first-term senator in the Philippine Senate, elected in 2010 to a six-year term for the Partido Nacionalista (NP, Nacionalista Party), which has withered in the days since it was the ironclad ruling party under his father.  His mother has not been shy in recent years in boosting Bongbong as a potential presidential candidate in 2016.

In a country where political networks have long been controlled by generation after generation of the same political elite families, it’s not completely out of the question.

Her daughter, Imee Marcos, a former member of the House of Representatives from 1998 to 2007, has been governor of the Philippine province of Ilocos Norte since 2010, and she’s even more of a lock for reelection than her more famous mother, because she’s running unopposed.  Ilocos Norte, one of 80 Philippine provinces, is a largely rural province that bears out toward the South China Sea on the far northwestern corner of Luzon island.  But though it’s far from the heart of power in the Philippine capital of Manila, it’s the birthplace of the late former president and though the Marcos family may not be entirely popular, their patronage network gives them a political lock on many of the province’s offices.

Whether a Marcos returns to the Philippine presidency in 2016, it’s nonetheless a remarkable comeback for the family’s fortunes.  First elected in 1965 and reelected in 1969, Marcos Sr. became increasingly authoritarian, instituting martial law in the Philippines that essentially left its democratic institutions in tatters.  A staunch U.S. ally during the Cold War, many Philippines look to the 1970s as a golden era of high GDP growth, though it was an era of corruption, above all at the top of the government among Marcos and his family members.

The Marcos regime reached a turning point in August 1983 when the chief opposition leader to Marcos, Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino, Jr., was assassinated in the Manila airport upon his return to the country to contest Marcos’s policies directly.  The economy sputtered, the regime’s international support (above all from the U.S. administration of Ronald Reagan) sputtered, and Marcos’s health sputtered, with Imelda taking an increasing role in state affairs. Marcos was finally ousted in 1986 during the ‘People Power’ movement that drove Ferdinand and Imelda into exile and Aquino’s widow, Corazon Aquino, into power as the country’s first new leader in over two decades.  Though Imelda had long been known for her extravagant lifestyle, she’ll forever be remembered for nearly 3,000 pairs of shoes that she left behind in Malacanang presidential palace upon their exile to Hawaii.

Her husband ultimately died in 1989, but Imelda returned to the Philippines in 1991, and she even ran for president in the 1992 election, though she finished in fifth place with barely over 10% of the vote.  She aborted an attempted run in the 1998 presidential election, but returned to public life in 2010 with her election to the House of Representatives.

Far from chastened by her 1986 tumble from power, Imelda remains defiantly proud of her role in Philippine public life — and yes, even her shoes.

On her Facebook page (which shows that even Cold War-era autocrats can learn social networking), she even features a tantalizingly unrepentant photo album featuring ‘Imelda’s Shoes, Gowns and other fashion items,’ and other photo albums of her with her husband during their previous years in power.

But the May 13 midterm elections are widely expected to result in victory for Philippine president Benigno Aquino III, known as ‘NoyNoy’ or just ‘PNoy’ to voters, and his allies, which have been christened ‘Team PNoy’ for the campaign (it’s also a play on the word ‘Pinoy,’ an informal term for Filipino).  Aquino, the son of Benigno II and Corazon, is expected to ride a wave of good feeling over the Philippine economy’s strong growth and a vigorous anti-corruption campaign to greater congressional support for his administration’s agenda.  Continue reading Despite a wave of popularity for Aquino, the Marcos brand attempts a comeback

Midterm Filipino elections a referendum on Aquino administration


When he won election as president of the Philippines in the May 2010 election, Benigno Aquino III — affectionately known as NoyNoy Aquino or simply ‘PNoy’ (it helps that ‘Pinoy’ is an informal term for the Filipino people) — did so largely on a wave of sympathy for his mother, Corazon Aquino, who had died nine months earlier.philippines

Corazon Aquino, the first president of the Philippines following the end of the 21-year reign of Ferdinand Marcos, was the widow of Benigno Aquino, Jr., the chief opponent to Marcos whose assassination in 1983 upon his return to the Philippines led, in part, to the ‘People Power’ revolution that toppled Marcos in 1986.

But sympathy has not fueled 7.6% GDP growth in 2010, 3.9% growth in 2011, and 6.6% growth in 2012, and Aquino (pictured above) and his administration, especially finance minister Cesar Purisima, deserves credit for stories like this, which herald the coming of a new Philippine economic boom:

With $70 billion in reserves and lower interest payments on its debt after recent credit rating upgrades, the Philippines pledged $1 billion to the International Monetary Fund to help shore up the struggling economies of Europe.

That’s the kind of Schadenfreude that the Philippines has come to enjoy in recent years — the country that received its own IMF package in the 1980s and struggled to restart its economy after the 1997 Asian currency crisis is now once again at the crest of another era of prosperity.

Fitch last week became the first of the three major credit ratings agencies to upgrade the Philippines to investment-grade rank, and the Philippine economy shows little signs of slowing (though the fact that nearly 15% of Philippine exports go to China might be cause for concern).

Since the return of democracy to the Philippines in 1986, and despite a narrow boom that the 1997 crisis promptly transformed into busy, corruption and graft have been rampant problems in the country of nearly 95 million people.  But under Aquino, even that seems less an inevitability than an opportunity for reform:

Since campaigning on the slogan kung walang kurap, walang mahirap (if there’s no corruption, there will be no poverty), the administration has made a concerted effort over the past two years to strengthen transparency in budgeting processes, ensure competitive bidding in procurement, and reduce influence peddling within government agencies. The Department of Budget Management has strived to increase transparency by reducing lump sums in the budget, making the executive drafts of the national budget available to the public in spreadsheets, insisting on competitive bidding for projects, and avoiding unsolicited project proposals. Along with a more open procurement process, increased trust in government has enhanced the perception of secure property rights which has encouraged investment.

Still, corruption-fighting can also look like grudge-settling. Last year, Aquino succeeded in removing the chief justice of the supreme court, Renato Corona, who had been convicted for failing to declare $4.2 million in income, and he followed up in November 2012 with the arrest of his predecessor, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, president from 2001 to 2010, on charges of corruption, misuse of funds and rigging the 2007 parliamentary elections — a ballsy move that may yet backfire.

Even beyond the joyous economic tidings, the Philippines — with its own tragic role as an early theater of U.S. 20th century nation-building — now finds itself with stronger ties than ever with the United States, given its newfound geopolitical and strategic centrality with the growing U.S. military presence in the Asia-Pacific region and U.S. president Barack Obama’s much-heralded ‘pivot to Asia.’

It’s safe to say that the Philippines, long the sick man of the Pacific, has its mojo back.

So with midterm elections approaching on May 13 — Philippine voters will choose 12 of the 24 members of its upper house, the Senate, and all of the members of its lower house, the House of Representatives — you’d think that PNoy would be well on his way to a landslide — last month, a Pulse Asia poll showed that he had a 68% approval rating to just 6% disapproval.

Continue reading Midterm Filipino elections a referendum on Aquino administration

13 in ’13: Thirteen world elections to watch in 2013


Welcome back and a happy new year to all of Suffragio‘s readers.

With 2013 off and running, here are the 13 world elections that will undoubtedly make a difference to the course of world affairs this year — and a key number of them are coming very soon, too. Continue reading 13 in ’13: Thirteen world elections to watch in 2013