Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte may have just marked his second year of a six-year term, rattling the world and his country with controversial statements and policies. Though still popular, he’s facing more discontent.
Duterte’s staunch critics, association of leftist and progressive groups, National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) said the president has “become isolated domestically and internationally” in the two years since he took office and is unlikely finish his term forced out “by way of a surge in anti-fascist protest actions or some other means.”
Part of that alliance Communist Party, which Duterte calls “terrorists,” people are growing tired of Duterte’s strict government policies, “deepening crisis and oppression,” and controversial comments made towards other nations and their leaders, that push the country’s “national dignity to the lowest levels.”
It’s true Duterte has made many controversial moves and statements since he was elected president in 2016, carving out a reputation for himself as one of Asia’s most outspoken and outrageous leaders.
Just this week, Duterte turned down requests from Christian groups to apologize for making fun of the biblical story of creation. “Who is this stupid God? You created something perfect and then you think of an event that would destroy the quality of your work,” the 73-year-old told an audience in Davao City on June 22.
In March, Canadians joined the growing list of people Duterte has publicly (and colorfully) criticized, including Barack Obama and Kim Jong-un, whom he called a “chubby fool.”
His campaign promise to eradicate the country’s illegal drug trade sparked a nationwide ‘war on drugs’ which claimed the lives of over 4,000 people – but human rights groups claim the figure could be at least three times higher.
READ MORE: ‘Go to hell,’ Duterte tells UN official over judicial criticism
Also working against Duterte is the Philippines economy, which transformed itself from the “sick man of Asia” to one of the region’s strongest players over the past decade, only to recede once again. The currency is the weakest its been in 12 years, foreign investment is down 51 percent, and the country’s trade deficit is the highest it has been in 18 years at $2.5 billion, according to Forbes.
Last month, the president himself called himself “useless” after a Social Weather Stations survey noted a 12-point decline from a similar poll taken at the end of 2017. While Duterte still held a public satisfaction rating of 69 percent, the survey also noted that 1.5 million families reported being victims of common crime.
Duterte used the shocking statistic as proof that the Philippines is “crime-ridden”:
“If this is the case, I’m useless. I’ll ask you to join me. Let’s just resign,” he said before a group of newly-elected village officials.
Later, Duterte again pledged to resign in a typical controversial manner.“If there are enough women to... Well I think if all women here would sign a petition for me to resign, I will resign,” he said.