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3 Failures of the Duterte Administration

Zett is a student living in the humble island of Cebu within the colorful archipelago of Philippines. He is currently pursuing his dreams.

President Rodrigo "Rody" Roa Duterte

President Rodrigo "Rody" Roa Duterte

Since he assumed office, President Rodrigo "Rody" Roa Duterte brought a change of scenery in the Philippine politics. With his full support in the anti-drug campaigns, he became a symbol of a modern hero to many citizens within the country. Additionally, the Duterte Administration had currently brought many accomplishments especially on the lowering of the crime rate in the country, as reported by different media. However, with its fair share of accomplishments, it expected that the administration, too, has its own share of failures.

Failure 1: Abusive 'Drug War'

Thought the Duterte administration might deem its anti-drug campaign successful, apparently, it's not. Since July 1, 2016, 7000 people have been estimated to have been killed by the campaign. In the eyes of many Filipinos, this "punishment of sinners" is worth celebrating. Others, however, see these acts as 'brutal and violent tantrums of a madman' as it violates the human rights of the victims. Philippine Senator Risa Hontiveros even commented that the killing is "not a way out of the drug problem."

Relative Crying After Killed Victim of 'Drug of War'

Relative Crying After Killed Victim of 'Drug of War'

Much more, when the administration started the campaign, they weren't exactly what we called prepared. There had been insufficient effective ways, medically, in dealing with surrendered and caught drug users. Simply, there had been no clear (or less in number) of rehabilitation centers in the country that could accommodate the growing number of drug users.

Aside from the rehabilitation centers, the administration was not even ready to face the other possible consequences of the killings. Suspected drug users, unconfirmed without any prior investigations, have been killed by the police while others have been killed by "unidentified gunmen".

Clearly, it might have lessened the number of drug-related crimes in the country, but in other aspects, such as agriculture and industry, remains stagnant. Seeing how the anti-drug campaign becomes headlines almost every day, citizens often criticized that the administration has "firmly focused on eradicating drugs" that it has disregarded the most important things such as low employment rate and development of agriculture.

Failure 2: Shutting United Nations and United States

After being criticized on the extrajudicial killings from the drug war, President Duterte's taste for United Nations and the United States seemingly turned sour. How sour you asked? Well, sour enough that Philippines has "cut its ties" with United Nations and United States (one of Philippines' longest allies) and sided with US' number one competitor - China. And it seems like cutting ties was not enough, the president himself cursed them as a goodbye gift.

So with Philippines cutting its ties with US and siding with China, what happens now?

Duterte and China

Duterte and China

With the dispute in the South China Sea, it would seem like the president is selling the Philippine territories to China. The claim might sound ridiculous, but it was recently supported by the imprisoned Leila De Lima, though President Duterte himself denied such claim.

The president further added that there would be "joint talk" with China to solve the issue, which is clearly very fruitless in solving the issue (as we all have seen from the previous talks that usually end up with China "bullying" the Philippines).

Regardless whether the claim was a truth or a lie, it is now a visible and established fact that President Duterte has refused the help of the United Nations to back up with regards to the existing problem of the country's territories and suspend the joint maritime and aerial patrols with the United States in the disputed territories.

Failure 3: Uncontrolled Profanity

Duterte Cursing

Duterte Cursing

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President Duterte is not only a fan of bloodsheds but also with cursing. Along with the bashing of international media, the president has been reported to have, not only one or twice, cursed especially with regards to the US President Obama and Pope Francis. His actions brought headlines to international media, with others' opinions widely varying from "highly uncivilized" to "entirely new". Nonetheless, cursing might have been the president's trademark, and not entirely bad either under appropriate situations. However, the act of cursing not only reflects the president but also reflects the image of the country.

Thankfully, President Duterte recently promised not to use profane language "as ordered by God". Hopefully, we can see a better improvement of his actions and meet the end his deal.


President Duterte is undeniably one of the most iconic figures in the country as of this date. Iconic, which means he has the power to influence the majority. However, we hope that he takes full responsibility for his actions as it not only affects himself but also the entire country as well.


© 2017 Zett Noir Cromwell


Ken Burgess from Florida on August 19, 2018:

Number 2 is a huge problem that will come back to bite the nation in the behind in the near future.

In addition to that, largely closing the country to foreign investors, who cannot own property there, is another major handicap to the growth of the nation's economy as well as the inability of foreigners to get citizenship, the rights of foreigners is substantially limited and when you are trying to develop your country into a strong economy blowing of America and Americans is not the best way to go about it in today's world.

If I wanted to start a business in the Philippines I could not own the land, the factory, or controlling stake in the business because I am a foreigner.

Look at America, the strongest economic force in the world, and anyone can come from anywhere and buy or build just about anything here. Saudi's own tens of billions worth of property and business here, so do the Chinese, its a large reason why despite some idiotic leadership in the past few decades the country is as strong economically as any in the world.

Philippines has done the opposite, practically putting in neon lights that if you invest into the country, the government can come along at any time and take your stuff, and that they'd prefer foreigners to bugger off.

Ireno Alcala from Bicol, Philippines on August 30, 2017:

You've done a true observation about the political climate of our country these days.

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