Philippine legal history reveals an incredibly tumultuous past. The country’s colonial history included a period of unmatched repression and corruption. In the aftermath of this turmoil, the country adopted a liberal democracy that was not only deeply rooted but also managed to survive. However, it faced some difficulties after the 1968 riots, during which martial law was imposed in the country.
As a result, the Philippine government has maintained a remarkably resilient political elite. Presidents are limited to six years, so their power is fleeting. However, influential families enjoy significant longevity and adaptability, allowing them to influence elections and the distribution of government resources. These powerful families are arguably the country’s most notable trait. What’s more, the Philippine system has been recognized as an example of how to preserve democratic resiliency.
Among these cases are those involving domestic violence. The American Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines coordinated a press campaign to urge Congress to pass legislation prohibiting such discrimination. However, the Washington Post published a series of articles, titled “Isles of Fear,” which portrayed the Filipino people as irresponsible, lazy, and incapable of managing a modern nation-state. Despite these concerns, the government has implemented several measures to combat these problems.
Duterte’s government’s priorities are centered around preventing illegal drugs, promoting rapid infrastructure development, sustaining inclusive economic growth, restoring peace in Mindanao, and reorienting foreign relations. These policies are accompanied by a plethora of political figures who were sidelined during the Aquino administration. Those who were on the left are now incorporated into his cabinet.