The Phenomenal Rise of Rodrigo Duterte to Power in the Philippines

On May 9, the Filipino nation chose “Tunay na Pagbabago” or radical change. Rodrigo Duterte, the pugnacious Mayor of Davao City, was elected as the incoming president, who will steer the course of the country’s defense and security, national governance, and foreign relations for the next six years.

His impending inauguration has brought a sense of cautious optimism across all sectors of the society, which has clamored for a swift end to endemic corruption, inefficiency in the bureaucracy, income inequality, and the proliferation of armed groups and other lawless elements. These factors have characterized the post-Philippine People’s Revolution (EDSA) regime and stymied the Philippines’ full realization of its potential.

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