The latest issue of Southeast Asian Affairs published by ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute features the articles of Prof. Aries A. Arugay, Assoc. Prof. Maria Thaemar Tana, and Justin Keith Baquisal (MA Political Science).

“The Philippines in 2022: The “Dance” of the Dynasties” by Justin Keith Baquisal and Prof. Aries Arugay

The year 2022 was one of multiple transitions for the Philippines. The country geared towards a resumption of normalcy since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. After struggling with its pandemic response, the Duterte administration prevented another COVID-19 surge but accumulated a significant amount of financial debt. The equally important transition is the May 2022 national and local elections. Unable to dictate the terms of his own political succession, Duterte gave way for a strong political alliance between Ferdinand Marcos Jr.—son and namesake of the country’s late dictator—and his daughter, Sara Duterte. Together with other political clans, this “dynasty cartel” dominated the 2022 elections and gave an unprecedented electoral mandate to Marcos Jr. as president and Sara Duterte as vice-president. The latter half of 2022 caught a glimpse of the start of the Marcos Jr. administration in the midst of a global economic crisis, a lingering COVID-19 pandemic, a polarized body politic, and intensified US-China rivalry in the Indo-Pacific region. This chapter concludes with some prospects for the Philippines under the helm of a restored Marcos dynasty.

“Duterte’s Peace Legacy in Mindanao: Achievements, Challenges and Prospects” by Assoc. Prof. Maria Thaemar Tana

President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) on 26 July 2018 after decades of peace negotiations between the Philippine government and the largest Moro Muslim insurgent group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The BOL embodies the aspirations for self-determination of the Bangsamoro people and aims to address their demands and the historical injustices they have suffered. Despite some issues and setbacks, the passing of the BOL and the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim (BARMM) have brought about substantial positive developments to the region, with several observers acknowledging that Mindanao is now potentially closer to peace than at any time in the last four decades. This chapter examines the challenges and achievements of the Duterte administration and the BARMM in promoting peace, prosperity and stability in Mindanao and the prospects of sustaining the benefits of the peace process.

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