Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte’s enduring popularity is baffling. Despite notorious headlines about government-sanctioned extrajudicial killings and crackdowns on the independent media, his approval ratings continue to hover at around 80%. Sheila Coronel provides a colorful narrative of Duterte’s political coming-of-age and explains the reasons for his continuing appeal among a broad section of the Philippine population. Her essay is an essential background read for anyone grappling with the growing appeal of illiberal strongmen around the world.
About the Author
Sheila S. Coronel is Toni Stabile Professor of Professional Practice in Investigative Journalism at the Columbia Journalism School.