The 8th Transdisciplinary (TD) Brown Bag Series

Date & Time: April 24th (Wed), 12:15~13:00
Venue: Tonan-tei (Room 201), 2nd floor, Inamori Foundation Building
Language: English
Speaker: Professor Emeritus Edilberto C. de Jesús (Asian Institute of Management, Manila)

Title & Abstract:
Philippine “Populism” under Rodrigo Duterte

The election of Rodrigo Roa Duterte as president in 2016 blindsided many experienced political analysts, who had predicted a different outcome. In the first half of his six-year term, he has pursued policies that ran counter to the views held by most Filipinos. His speech, behavior and style of governance clashed with values traditionally taught to children, embodied in pledges recited in schools, and often proclaimed as quintessentially Filipino.

International observers have identified him among the new breed of populist strongmen, together with Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, and Donald Trump. But the character of his populist appeal appears rooted in factors different from those energizing the popular base of his foreign counterparts, who themselves have no special standing among the Philippine electorate.

Nonetheless, Duterte clearly continues to enjoy high levels of trust and approval in public opinion surveys, and political allies hope that these ratings are transferable. His anointed candidates for the 2019 mid-term elections have taken an early lead in the senatorial race, benefitting from the presidential endorsement and the material advantages provided by an administration in power.

This presentation draws from academic literature on Philippine politics and society, documentary sources, including media reports and public opinion poll surveys, and exchanges with informants from the government, business and civil society sectors. It offers, for critique and correction, preliminary findings on:1) the electoral success of Duterte; 2) the Duterte brand of populism as compared to the American and European variety; 3) Duterte’s hold on the electorate in the context of objectives promised and achieved or not achieved, at the mid-point of his presidency, and what it bodes for the trajectory of Philippine political development

BIO: Currently Professor Emeritus at the Asian Institute of Management in Manila, Edilberto C. de Jesús served as president of Far Eastern University (1995-2002), the University of the Cordilleras in Baguio City (2008-2009) and AIM (2009-2012). He served as Presidential Adviser in the Corazon Aquino Cabinet, with a concurrent appointment as Deputy Commissioner of the Peace Commission (1987-1992). As Philippine Secretary of Education (2002-2004), he was president of the Southeast Asia Ministers of Education Organization Council in 2003 and subsequently served as SEAMEO Secretariat Director in Bangkok (2005-2007). He obtained M.Phil and Ph.D.degrees in History at Yale University.