Rodrigo Duterte was sworn in as the Philippines’ 16th president yesterday, capping an unlikely journey for a provincial city mayor whose brash man-of-the-people style and pledges to crush crime swamped establishment rivals in May’s election.
After making his pledge at the presidential palace in Manila, with one hand on a Bible, Duterte delivered a short speech in which he promised a “relentless” and “sustained” fight against corruption, criminality and illegal drugs.
However, he said these ills were only symptoms of a virulent social disease cutting into the moral fiber of society.
Photo: Reuters / Philippine Presidential Palace
“I see the erosion of the people’s trust in our country’s leaders, the erosion of faith in our judicial system, the erosion of confidence in the capacity of our public servants to make the people’s lives better, safer and healthier,” he said.
Outgoing president Benigno Aquino III brought the country an average annual growth rate of 6.3 percent in his six-year term, the fastest of Southeast Asia’s five main economies.
Duterte yesterday said that he would give specifics of his economic policies later, but some already fear that his defiance of convention could pose a danger to the nation’s health.
In the election campaign, Duterte railed against the nation’s political elite and tapped into voters’ disgust with a succession of governments that failed to tackle poverty and inequality even when the economy was bounding ahead.
His campaign focused almost entirely on the scourges of murder, rape, drug abuse and corruption, and voters were not deterred by his repeated warnings, in profanity-peppered speeches, to have offenders killed.
Duterte conceded in his maiden speech that many critics believe his methods of fighting crime “are unorthodox and verge on the illegal.” However, the 71-year-old former prosecutor said that he knew right from wrong and would be uncompromising in adhering to due process and the rule of law.
Since her personal telephone number was posted online, Hong Kong democracy advocate and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairperson Carol Ng has received menacing calls from strangers and been bombarded with messages calling her a “cockroach.” She is not alone. A sophisticated and shady Web site called HK Leaks has ramped up its “doxxing” — where people’s personal details are published online — of Hong Kong democracy advocates, targeting those it says have broken Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Promoted by groups linked to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party and hosted on Russia-based servers, HK Leaks has become the most prominent “doxxing”
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A Malaysian student whose cellphone was stolen while he was sleeping has tracked down the culprit: a monkey who took photo and video selfies with the device before abandoning it. Zackrydz Rodzi, 20, on Wednesday said that his mobile phone was missing from his bedroom when he woke up on Saturday. He found the phone’s casing under his bed, but there was no sign of robbery in his house in Johor state. JUNGLE When his father saw a monkey the next day, he searched in the jungle behind his house. Using his brother’s cellphone to call his own device, he found it covered
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