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Anti-establishment Votes: Brexit and the 2016 Philippine Elections

e often hear that there is wisdom in election results. After an election, we say the people have spoken. And the majority of voters are usually right—but not always. On occasion, voters make the wrong choice; even in a country with a long democratic tradition like Great Britain. The country that gave the world the Magna Carta, parliaments, and revered academic institutions like Oxford and Cambridge, seems to have stumbled this week when the majority of its citizens voted to leave the European Union.

Some analysts describe it as an anti-establishment vote. The desire by ordinary citizens to take back their government from the power elite who control it—be they from within the UK or from Brussels. There was also the fear of immigrants and refugees that caused many to vote to leave. Ironically, London, which has by far the largest immigrant population within the UK, voted overwhelmingly to remain.

In May of this year Filipinos also went to the polls and overwhelmingly voted for an anti-establishment presidential candidate. A candidate who would use crude and oftentimes vulgar language, one who showed little respect for institutions like the Church, and who hinted at using extra-judicial methods to rid the country of evil and corrupt elements once-and-for-all. President-elect Rodrigo Duterte takes his oath of office in a few days.

With the British people now wondering if they made the right choice given the recent collapse of the financial markets, and the negative repercussions of their "leave" vote slowly coming to the fore, will Filipinos experience similar misgivings soon after June 30th?

Like the majority of Filipinos, we hold out hope that Duterte will do what's right and resist the temptation to abuse his mandate. However, as we noted in a previous editorial (here's its LINK), it might not be Duterte we should be worrying about but the people under him who tend to abuse their authority. Even before his being sworn-in, there have already been a significant number of killings and abuses by police and local government officials—mayors, governors, and Baranggay officials—hoping to make a name for themselves and show the new administration that they too are really tough on crime.

Only time will tell if the British people can turn their leaving the European Union into something positive. And only time will tell if Duterte will be able to walk that fine line between being tough on crime, and overstepping his bounds by abusing his power, and trampling on the human rights of his people.

The Philippines is one of the few countries in Asia where democratic elections take place and its people are free to choose their leaders. Let's make sure it stays that way." Published 6/26/2016

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With Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines Got the President It Deserves

Like it or not the Philippines will have a new president by the end of the month. As French philosopher, writer and lawyer Joseph de Maistre so aptly put it over 200 years ago "In a democracy people get the leaders they deserve." So thus Filipinos will soon get a taste of what it will be like to live under a Rodrigo Duterte presidency ... Published 6/21/2016

The Orlando Massacre Clearly Highlights America's Distorted Values Towards Guns

At this point, it has clearly become an annoyance to watch the news and see Americans contort themselves into a pretzel in anguish over the latest mass killing in the United States. The anguish is genuine—there is no doubt about that, but the gun-related rampages happen so frequently ... Published 6/16/2016

It's What Happens After the Hague Tribunal Says the Philippines Won Versus China, That Matters

In a few weeks the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague will render its decision on the case the Philippines brought against China. In all likelihood the tribunal will rule in favor of the Philippines. For starters this will reinforce the country's claim that Scarborough Shoal (Panatag Shoal), which lies 220 km (137 mi) west of Palauig, Zambales, is well within the Philippines' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) ... Published 6/7/2016

Should Senator Trillanes be charged with treason for the loss of Scarborough Shoal?

Barely a week after he received the most votes in the May 9 presidential elections, “presumptive president-elect” Rodrigo Duterte accused Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV of committing treason in 2012 when he engaged in backchannel talks in Beijing with Chinese officials over the West Philippine Sea ... Published 5/26/2016

It Might be Back to the Dark Ages with the Duterte Plan to Reinstate the Death Penalty

According to Deterte's choice for the next Speaker of the House, Incoming Davao del Norte Representative Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez, they will definitely bring back the death penalty to the Philippines. In a video interview with local press, Alvarez noted that he is confident it can be done. Published 5/22/2016

The NBN-ZTE Abalos Acquittal: An Opportunity for Duterte to Prove His Mettle to Filipinos

How can anyone forget the 2007 NBN-ZTE scandal. Where an ill-advised, grossly overpriced broadband network with limited capability was almost rammed down the throats of hapless Filipinos by the Arroyo administration. A foolhardy endeavor that would have cost Filipino taxpayers US$329 million. Published 5/16/2016

Rodrigo Duterte Is the Next President of the Philippines

With over ninety percent of the votes already tallied by the COMELEC's Transparency Server, candidate Rodrigo Duterte enjoys a insurmountable lead of more than 6 million votes over second-placer Mar Roxas. Duterte wins by a landslide and will be the 16th president of the Philippines. Published 5/10/2016

Davao Death Squad to Go National with Rody Duterte as President

Diehard Rody Duterte supporters appear willing to ignore recent disclosures that their beloved candidate, the front-runner in the Philippine presidential elections next week, has a P227 million peso account with the Bank of the Philippine Islands. Published 5/5/2016

Donald Trump and Rodrigo Duterte, High-flying Candidates of the Same Feather

Two countries, two elections, two candidates. But for many who have been following both the Philippine and United States elections, these two presidential contenders, one American—one Filipino, appear to have uncanny similarities ... Published 5/1/2016

Our Thoughts on the Last Presidential Debate Before the 2016 Philippine Elections

Compared to the first two, this debate moderated by ABS-CBN was by far the best. So before anything else, kudos to the folks at ABS-CBN and ANC. Each of the five presidential contenders had ample opportunity to differentiate himself or herself from the rest—which should help voters make more informed choices on election day. Published 4/26/2016

Not Just Rodrigo Duterte, We Pinoys Simply Have a Really Crude Sense of Humor

After being excoriated first by social media, then by the general public, for a boorish and insensitive remark he made in 1989 that happened to be caught on video, Davao City mayor and presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte finally admitted it was a mistake. At first he tried to justify it as a seemingly vulgar joke due to his poor and humble upbringing. Published 4/22/2016

China’s Plan B: Binay-Bongbong (Jejomar Binay and Bongbong Marcos)

It’s a high stakes poker game with China placing all its chips on the table, gambling that it can seize unoccupied islets and shoals in the West Philippine Sea - transforming them into man-made artificial islands by pumping sand onto live coral reefs and paving them with concrete, then equipping them with aircraft runways, port facilities and surface-to-air missiles ... Published 4/16/2016

The CNN Philippines Vice Presidential Debate: Who We Liked, Who We Didn't Like

The CNN vice presidential debate held at the University of Santo Tomas campus in Manila on April 10, gave Filipino voters the chance to see and hear the top six contenders side be side, answering questions and interacting with one another for well over an hour. Like the millions of Filipinos who watched the debate on television or streamed it from the internet, we were able to form our own fairly distinct opinions about each candidate . Published 4/11/2016

Read more articles from our archives

Duterte: Mayors involved in illegal drugs can't choose police chief
DAVAO CITY -- Local chief executives with links to the illegal drugs business cannot pick their chief of police, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte said. Duterte said he would ask for the amendment of the law giving mayors the operational supervision and control of the police.

President Aquino thanks AFP, urges improved capability
MANILA, June 27 (PNA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III on Monday urged the Armed Forces to continuously improve capabilities in carrying out their duties, as he thanked them for their service to the country for the last six years. During the testimonial parade and review given by the Armed Forces of the Philippines ...

BREXIT | UK envoy: No 'abrupt' changes in policies on migration, trade, taxation
MANILA - Despite sweeping global perception that the referendum outcome agreeing to the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union was largely a vote against migration, British Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad on Monday said the plebiscite will not result in "abrupt" changes in his country's policies ...

Comelec Chairman Bautista says he's not resigning
MANILA, June 27 (PNA) -- Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Juan Andres Bautista has no intention of quitting his position, shrugging off claims of all six poll commissioners of a “failure of leadership.” He noted that there are no reasons for him to resign.

Authorities closely monitoring activities in West Philippine Sea, says Palace official
MANILA, June 28 - Malacanang on assured that authorities are keeping a close watch on activities in the West Philippine Sea. Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. of the Presidential Communications Operations Office said the safety of the public is the government’s main concern as he noted the recent warning issued ...

South China Sea reefs 'decimated' by giant clams harvest
TANMEN, China -- Ornaments made from the shells of endangered giant clams, renowned in China for having auspicious powers and the luster of ivory, have become coveted luxuries, a trend which has wreaked havoc on the ecosystem of the South China Sea.

Palace official sums up accomplishments of Aquino government in six years
MANILA, June 28 - Few days before leaving office, Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr summed up the major accomplishments of the Aquino administration in the last six years. Among the major accomplishments is the change on the perception of other countries on the Philippines with regards to corruption ...

Comelec unanimously junks four disqualification raps vs incoming President Duterte
MANILA, June 27 (PNA) -- Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte has been cleared of the last possible hurdle to his presidency after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) unanimously junked the disqualification cases hurled against him.

Hundreds join funeral of slain suspected No. 1 drug lord in Central Visayas
CEBU CITY -- Hundreds of supporters, family members, and friends joined the funeral Monday afternoon of slain suspected No. 1 drug lord in Central Visayas Jeffrey "Jaguar" Diaz. Diaz was killed in a shootout with operatives from the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 on June 17 in Las Piñas City.

Media Advisory on President Duterte inauguration
MANILA, June 27 (PNA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III on Monday urged the Armed Forces to continuously improve capabilities in carrying out their duties, as he thanked them for their service to the country for the last six years. During the testimonial parade and review given by the Armed Forces of the Philippines ...

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