Democracy suffers when populist leaders are in power. President Rodrigo Duterte is one such populist and his coming to power has been the undoing of the Philippines’s democracy. In an article published by German media company Deutsche Welle, Rodion Ebbighausen argues that although Duterte sees all problems as nails whereas the only tool in his toolbox is a hammer, he still has supporters in the population. Here is an excerpt:
The Philippine House of Representatives on Thursday voted not to renew the broadcasting permit of the media group ABS-CBN after its license expired in May. Lawmakers determined that the company had committed tax avoidance, used questionable labor practices, did not self-regulate well and had thus abused its license. The rejection of ABS-CBN’s application for a new permit had absolutely nothing to do with the content of the broadcaster’s reports, the congressional working group insisted.
What is at stake here is no less than the freedom of the press and expression in the Philippines. ABS-CBN runs 21 radio stations and 38 TV channels in the nation. The broadcaster reports reaching about 70% of the 107 million inhabitants of the Philippines. ABS-CBN not only dared to refuse to broadcast campaign adverts for Rodrigo Duterte before his election in 2016, but has also showed the war on drugs that he initiated as president for what it is: a brutal offensive against Filipinos that may have claimed more than 27,000 lives during his four years in power, according to estimates by some domestic rights groups.
Duterte has taken a one-size-fits-all approach to governing: more military, more police, less discussion. This shows in Duterte’s war on drugs, in “anti-terror” measures passed by the House and signed by the president earlier in July that allow for warrantless arrests and extended detention, and now in the vote on ABS-CBN.
Read the full article through this link.