Duterte takes over and faces the test

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Duterte ahead of inaugurationPhilippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte will finally be inaugurated on June 30 amid high expectations among his voters that we would live up to his electoral promises in making the country a better place to live – by eliminating crime and corruption, reducing poverty, improving social standards and pushing the economy further, as he has pledged.

It has, however, yet to be seen whether his speeches have been just tough talk to succeed in an election at a time when poverty remains widespread in the country despite good overall economic growth. The slums of Manila, Cebu and other large cities remain impoverished and are even expanding, despite 5.8 per cent GDP growth in 2015.

At the same time, the wealth of better-off Filipinos has grown significantly over the past years – a sign that outgoing President Benigno Aquino set the right measures but to the benefit of the wrong people. And Duterte now promises to create a more just society by introducing change accompanied by drastic means.

He vowed to wipe out drug crime within six months by “radical measures” that include – although he didn’t explicitly say that – extrajudicial killings of drug dealers and users. In fact, the “measures” already started after he was elected on May 9. Since then, at least one person involved in drug crimes has been shot dead by police or anonymous vigilantes every day.

There are, however, many other issues the country has to resolve such as the crisis in the South China Sea, the problems its radicals in the South, poor infrastructure and a modernisation of society against a backward-looking Catholic Church.

Once in office, Duterte will be scrutinised much closer whether he will turn from populist into a practical politician and strategist. Some say he certainly will, but others – including foreign diplomats and many oppositions lawmakers – find him “unpredictable.” And this is the most scaring factor for a country which builds all its hopes on a short=tempered “out-of-the-box” figure with off-limit jokes and a certain profanity, Only time will tell.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Philippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte will finally be inaugurated on June 30 amid high expectations among his voters that we would live up to his electoral promises in making the country a better place to live – by eliminating crime and corruption, reducing poverty, improving social standards and pushing the economy further, as he has pledged.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Duterte ahead of inaugurationPhilippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte will finally be inaugurated on June 30 amid high expectations among his voters that we would live up to his electoral promises in making the country a better place to live – by eliminating crime and corruption, reducing poverty, improving social standards and pushing the economy further, as he has pledged.

It has, however, yet to be seen whether his speeches have been just tough talk to succeed in an election at a time when poverty remains widespread in the country despite good overall economic growth. The slums of Manila, Cebu and other large cities remain impoverished and are even expanding, despite 5.8 per cent GDP growth in 2015.

At the same time, the wealth of better-off Filipinos has grown significantly over the past years – a sign that outgoing President Benigno Aquino set the right measures but to the benefit of the wrong people. And Duterte now promises to create a more just society by introducing change accompanied by drastic means.

He vowed to wipe out drug crime within six months by “radical measures” that include – although he didn’t explicitly say that – extrajudicial killings of drug dealers and users. In fact, the “measures” already started after he was elected on May 9. Since then, at least one person involved in drug crimes has been shot dead by police or anonymous vigilantes every day.

There are, however, many other issues the country has to resolve such as the crisis in the South China Sea, the problems its radicals in the South, poor infrastructure and a modernisation of society against a backward-looking Catholic Church.

Once in office, Duterte will be scrutinised much closer whether he will turn from populist into a practical politician and strategist. Some say he certainly will, but others – including foreign diplomats and many oppositions lawmakers – find him “unpredictable.” And this is the most scaring factor for a country which builds all its hopes on a short=tempered “out-of-the-box” figure with off-limit jokes and a certain profanity, Only time will tell.

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