President Duterte, who jokes about military coups, is a member of a military-civilian group that once staged coups to reinstate Marcos

Duterte---tattoo-thumb--Aug-2,-2016

By Raïssa Robles - President Rodrigo Duterte has been making jokes about military coups being launched against him in successive days. What he and his aides never ever mention is that Duterte is a proud member of a military-civilian group that once staged a series of bloody coup attempts against the late President Corazon Aquino in order to reinstate the dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Recently, I got this curious query from my editor in South China Morning Post, who noticed that Duterte had a tiny tattoo on his hand. It was unusual for a head of state to have a tattoo, he said, explaining why he wanted to know more about its origin. And so I asked Duterte's former schoolmate, presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza. And it turned out, Dureza has the same tattoo.

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Thank you, Richard Branson, for caring about the extra-judicial killings in the Philippines

By Raïssa Robles Business magnate Richard Branson’s post on “Duterte’s war on drugs is not the answer” was a most unexpected post from an extraordinary man. Branson began his blog post by saying, “It’s not easy to suppress frustration and anger reading news from the Philippines these days. When President Rodrigo Duterte took office on June 30th, he vowed to […]

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President Duterte’s own experience should show him extra-judicial killings can’t curb crime

By Raissa Robles - One of President Rodrigo Duterte’s talents lies in his skill of painting very graphic crime scenes for his listeners. It’s a talent that probably persuaded many Filipinos to accept extra-judicial killings as THE solution to crime. What he didn't tell his listeners recently was that the crime scenes he was describing had taken placed at the height of Ferdinand Marcos’ Martial Law.

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The war against illegal drugs: Real or propaganda?

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Opinion piece by Yvonne - The war against illegal drugs resonates strongly with the Filipino people hence there is a tendency amongst us to accept the government news reports on this matter – hook, line, and sinker – often blurring the lines between reality and what might be plain government propaganda.

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Yasay speaks for me and I trust him – President Duterte

Hmmm. I wonder why President Duterte felt the need to go on the air himself to squelch rumors that Yasay was out. - President Rodrigo Duterte's Statement on Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Malacañan Palace, Good afternoon.

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President Duterte meets accused top drug lord, as body count of lowly suspected drug pushers & addicts piles up

By Raissa Robles - On the night of July 15, President Rodrigo Duterte met with a certain "Peter Lim", a man Duterte recently identified as the head honcho of drug trafficking in central Philippines. Not only had the President ID’d the alleged drug lord, he had also warned that if Lim (who was then presumably abroad), returned here, “he will die” because he is “beyond redemption”. Despite the bloodcurdling threat, nothing happened to Lim when he met the President. In fact, apart from being thoroughly unscathed, Lim also got a job offer.

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Are you going to Scarborough Shoal?

Or how South China Sea ruling affects Filipino and Chinese fishermen - Exclusive By Dr. Alfredo C. Robles, Jr. - I hope the following will only be the first of several pieces summarizing different aspects of the Award in the Philippines v. China arbitration and explaining their implications. As I was writing this, I could not help but recall the first ever lectures I had in my life on international law and the law of the sea that I attended (in French!) at the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris (Paris Institute of Political Studies) in 1980-81.

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