Rodrigo Duterte: the end of an era

As the Philippines’ violent drug war continues on, we examine one possible scenario showing how the Duterte presidency could end.


NSFW    MANILA, PHILIPPINES — More than 7,000 people have been killed since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte took office last June and declared all-out war on drug users and drug dealers. But when will it end, and how?

This piece considers one possible scenario, showing what could happen if a coup were to oust the president.

It is the near future. The Philippines’ brutal war on drugs is still dragging on with no end in sight. Life in the country is dismal, and once-staunch supporters of Duterte have started to turn restless and disillusioned.

But instead of addressing his frustrated constituents, Duterte has courted military support. He’s visited camps and connected with soldiers as if he knew what was coming.

With so many disgruntled Filipinos, mass protests break out all over the capital, and soon, a coup to finally overthrow the president. But as his enemies march on the presidential palace, the man they are after is nowhere to be seen.

Rodrigo Duterte retreats to Davao in the south, to the real seat of his power.

He rules from his beloved hometown, surrounded and supported by loyal troops and powerful old allies. His endgame is independence, secession from the rest of the country.

Duterte has a vision and it is this: the Independent Republic in the south, controlled by him alone.
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