The president of the Philippines wants to change the constitution

Jun 29, 2018

NEVER one to stick to a script, Rodrigo Duterte regales audiences with tirades, profanities and anecdotes. A politician forged in town-hall frays, he knows how to capture hearts and headlines. This week he decided to take on God, calling him “stupid” and a “son of a whore”, to predictable uproar. Mr Duterte clearly relishes the spotlight—which has caused some Filipinos to wonder whether he will ever willingly leave it.

Mr Duterte became president two years ago, after winning 39% of the vote in a four-way race. He immediately implemented a series of controversial policies, most notably a bloody anti-drugs campaign. He also imposed martial law on the troubled southern island of Mindanao, a bold step given that a former president, Ferdinand Marcos, used martial law to turn himself into a dictator. Indeed, he allowed Marcos’s embalmed body, previously preserved in a ghoulish shrine in his home province, to be interred in Heroes’ Cemetery in Manila, the capital.

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