Duterte's Policies Earn a Vote of Confidence in Philippine Elections

MIN READMay 15, 2019 | 11:00 GMT

Residents cast their votes in Philippine national and midterm elections on May 13, 2019, in Malabang, Lanao del Sur, in the southern Philippines. Rodrigo "The Punisher" Duterte will continue full steam ahead after voters largely backed the president's allies in May 13 elections.

(JES AZNAR/Getty Images)

From the start, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has sought to be a game changer. The first president from the remote southern region of Mindanao, he swept to victory in 2016 elections by advocating a ruthless approach to crime, promising to spread economic development to far-flung regions and vowing to end chronic insurgencies. The man known as "The Punisher" has proven to be wildly popular, managing to sustain his controversial drug war, attracting record foreign direct investment (FDI), advancing the Mindanao peace process and maintaining healthy growth numbers overall. Now, midway through his single term, Duterte's allies have made a strong showing in elections that will help him move forward on key agenda items. At stake are ambitious objectives to implement a federal system of government, raise FDI limits and revamp the mineral sector, among others. Amid the Philippines' careful balancing act between the United States and China, Duterte's domestic fortunes...

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