The Vote in the Philippines: Electing A Strongman

Issue Date October 2016
Volume 27
Issue 4
Page Numbers 124-34
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With a folksy style and tough-guy image, Philippine presidential candidate Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte promised to restore peace and order by any means necessary. Following his surprise victory in the May 2016 elections, Duterte has kept his word, launching the promised anti-drug campaign that saw nearly 1,800 extrajudicial killings within Duterte’s first seven weeks in office. Thirty years after the “people power” revolution against the Marcos dictatorship, Duterte’s victory represents a rupture in the liberal-democratic regime, and suggests that many Filipinos are willing to reject aspects of democracy they consider inconvenient or ineffective in exchange for Marcos-era “discipline” and stability.