Duterte’s Fifth China Visit: Heavy on Promise, Light on Results

Duterte’s Fifth China Visit: Heavy on Promise, Light on Results

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s fifth visit to China last week was heavy with promise, but ended light with results. Visiting Beijing with a delegation including Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin and other high-ranking officials, Duterte vowed to discuss the South China Sea directly with Chinese President Xi Jinping for the first time. Duterte, facing pressure at home amid the unfolding Vietnam-China spat near Vanguard Bank, resolved to bring up the 2016…

Duterte Fires Philippines Prison Chief

Duterte Fires Philippines Prison Chief

The Philippine president on Wednesday fired the government’s top prison official amid a public outcry over the release of hundreds of prisoners, including convicted drug traffickers and rapists, under a law rewarding good behavior with shorter jail terms. President Rodrigo Duterte said in a televised news conference that Undersecretary Nicanor Faeldon of the Bureau of Corrections would immediately resign for disobeying his order to halt the releases of convicted prisoners…

What Does the New Philippines Defense Budget Say About Future Military Modernization Under Duterte?

What Does the New Philippines Defense Budget Say About Future Military Modernization Under Duterte?

Last week, numbers were disclosed for the Philippines’ initial defense budget. While these numbers are still preliminary, they nonetheless warrant analysis to get a sense of what they say and do not say about the Southeast Asian state’s defense outlook for 2020 and beyond under Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. As I have noted before in these pages, though the Philippine military has long faced a range of internal and external…