Publication Details

L. B. Bautista, 'Smooth waters ahead or rising tides of uncertainty? Philippine foreign policy under President Rodrigo Duterte' (2016) 13 Thinking ASEAN 5-7.


The Philippines is in the midst of a transition. The astonishing rise and decisive victory of newly elected Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte marks a significant turning point in the landscape of Philippine politics. Duterte's inimitable style outraged his critics, embarrassed imperial Manila's entrenched elites, and triggered disquieting ripples across the globe to an audience unaccustomed to the foul-mouthed, tough-talking, long-time mayor of Davao City in southern Philippines. But the Philippine electorate, angry and despondent, economically disenfranchised, and frustrated with perennial problems of corruption, crime and illegal drugs, massively supported his incendiary campaign. The resounding protest vote that catapulted Duterte into victory is a clear call for change from a nation weary of traditional politics and broken promises.