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EDITORIAL: Failed State

IN the midst of a constitutional debate and looming political ambitions, the Philippines finds itself entangled in a war of words between President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and former president Rodrigo Duterte, with drug addiction allegations taking center stage.

What initially aimed to be a discourse on constitutional democracy has devolved into a personal exchange, showcasing the volatile nature of political rhetoric. Duterte’s challenge for a public drug test, met with silence from Marcos, adds a layer of intrigue to the unfolding situations brought about by their duelling narratives.

As this political saga continues, it’s crucial to reflect on the historical context. Duterte’s bloody drug war, criticized for alleged human rights violations, forms the backdrop of the strained relationship. The International Criminal Court’s involvement, sparked by accusations of “crimes against humanity,” further complicates the issues.

Marcos, now in power, initially vowed to shield Duterte from the ICC’s reach but recently hinted at reconsidering the Philippines’ membership. This shift, coupled with non-binding resolutions in the House urging cooperation with the ICC, intensifies the animosity between the two political leaders.

Amidst these tensions, a controversial move to amend the Constitution through a “people’s initiative” adds fuel to the fire. Allegations of financial incentives to gather public support for the initiative, combined with fears of rewriting the political landscape in 2028, heighten the stakes.

The Duterte camp perceives Speaker Romualdez’s political aspirations as a threat, but the focus shifts as Duterte’s attacks on Marcos take precedence. The risk of a political crisis looms large, with fears that their word war could escalate into mobilization of hostile forces.

In the interest of national stability, a plea is made for cooler heads to prevail. The potential repercussions of a breakdown in communication between Marcos and Duterte, including secession calls and military withdrawals, could push the nation toward a perilous path reminiscent of historical upheavals.

It is imperative for the Philippines to determine this delicate situation cautiously. A commitment to dialogue and understanding between the key players becomes paramount to prevent further deterioration and safeguard against the spectre of a failed state.


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