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Tatay (Daddy) Digong, The Punisher: President Rodrigo Duterte’s Punitive Populism in the Philippines

Abstract : In this chapter it is argued that, while sharing a number of the attributes of many contemporary populists, President Rodrigo Duterte, elected in 2016, is a product of the Philippines’ political system and its political culture. A brief historical overview is provided to situate the central place of strongmen in Filipino political life. An examination of Duterte’s “War on Drugs,” which has cost some 27,000 lives, shows how it is both a source of his enduring popularity, and the central element in his unique place as a punitive populist. The chapter then goes on to analyse four different ways he has been able to govern in an increasingly authoritarian way. These include judicial harassment of his opponents; draconian application of anti-terrorism laws to repress and kill dissenters; manipulation of both the mainstream and social media; and, finally, drawing on the legitimacy he has gained both internationally and regionally. Nevertheless, it is suggested that his popularity is also linked to the provision of social goods. The final section of the chapter looks at the sustainability of his punitive populist model—and the slide into authoritarianism—in the covid 19 and in a post-covid 19 pandemic environment.
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Submitted on : Friday, March 11, 2022 - 12:04:33 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, March 12, 2022 - 3:31:50 AM

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David Frederic Camroux. Tatay (Daddy) Digong, The Punisher: President Rodrigo Duterte’s Punitive Populism in the Philippines. Contemporary Populists in Power, Palgrave Macmillan, pp.171-191, 2022, The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy, 978-3-030-84078-5. ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-84079-2_10⟩. ⟨hal-03605804⟩

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