Rodrigo Duterte – the Philippines’s Human Rights Wild Card

On 9th of May, Rodrigo Duterte, a long-time mayor of Davao City in the Southern island of Mindanao, was elected the new president of the Philippines, winning nearly 40 percent of the vote. Duterte’s success is unprecedented. He will be the first president from Mindanao, the country’s second biggest island, plagued by extreme poverty and a long-running Islamist insurgency involved the killing of tens of thousands of people and facilitated the spread of Islamic extremism in the region. During his candidacy, the president-elect seemed to be an ultimate wild card by displaying a callous attitude towards human rights.

While supporting LGBT equality, admittedly a bold move in a predominant Catholic nation, he has also made headlines saying that he wished he had “been first” to rape an Australian woman killed in a 1989 prison riot. Even more troubling, he has been linked to a vigilante death squads group active in Davao City. Since being elected president, he has condoned the execution of journalists.

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