Trump of the East, Duterte Harry, the bastard child of Philippine democracy—these are some of what ways in which Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has been depicted by the international press. This chapter seeks to go beyond these convenient labels and propose a historicized, contextualized, and critical approach to studying populism in the Philippines. It argues that the extraordinary popularity of Rodrigo Duterte has deep roots in the Philippines’ colonial history and in a national subjectivity that carries a lingering anxiety about freedom and sovereignty. It rejects the depiction of Duterte’s supporters as pathologically anti-democratic but is critical of the President’s failure to harness the grassroots momentum for democratic renewal and institution building.
- Lingering Anxiety
- Philippine Politics
- Filipino People
- Populist Leaders
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On Independence Day in 1978, Marcos issued a presidential decree (No.1413) declaring “Isang Bansa, Isang Diwa” be adopted as the official national motto of the Philippines. The decree included an instruction that “this motto be made known to every Filipino so that he may take pride in this new symbol of nationhood” (see Republic of the Philippines 1978).
At the end of his second term in office in September 1972, Marcos declared martial law which lasted until 1981, during which time his administration operated as a militarized dictatorship which actively quelled dissent by imprisoning and killing activists and by denying freedom of expression.
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Webb, A., Curato, N. (2019). Populism in the Philippines. In: Stockemer, D. (eds) Populism Around the World. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-96758-5_4
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