Trapped between a rock and a hard place in the Philippines.

This image is claimed as fair dealing under Australian copyright law. It show people power when it's needed to oust yet another dictator like Marcos.

The Filipino people are used to a rocky unsteady political climate. After all, they lived with the dictatorship of the Marcos family, which was supported by the west. They lived through the assassination of their beloved leader Benigno Aquino in 1983 which put his wife in power. They are no stranger to upheavals in the political circles of the Philippines. The Philippines has always had US presence in their country since the 19th century and it is no secret that the brothel system and crime grew out of that presence.

So essentially the Filipino people largely blame western interference when it comes to the uncontrollable sex trade tourism, drug trade, poverty and no change in the status quo, irrespective of whichever leaders they choose. So in 2016, the only leader that could have won in such a collapsing society would be Duterte.

Based on his mandate as a populist leader he needed to come out as opposing the Obama administration off the bat. Furthermore, Duterte had to openly go after the signs and symbols of decades of western interference by eliminating the drug lords and any other sign of corruption in Filipino society in order to stay in power. After witnessing initial violent crackdowns by the Duterte government, the Filipino people are starting the reject this hardline strategy and have been embarrassed by his actions in the international community. In dealing with the drug problems, death by mob rule is not the right way to go. A better approach would have been to propose a drug rehabilitation program funded by the government with the support of hospitals and medical facilities. Skipping the rehabilitation programs, skipping the judicial process does not describe a functioning framework for social reform.

The main mandate of Duterte is his realignment of the Philippines to China. This has only happened because China has flexed its military muscle in the South China sea and has even claimed some of the northern islands of the Philippines. The Philippines need leadership that can leverage old alliances with the US to stave off Chinese political and military aspirations in the region.

The Filipino people need international support to remove an AWOL regime which is at the tipping point of genocide. People need a hero who respects human rights, like Benigno Aquino, fights for social reform within the parameters of the law and knows how to negotiate with old allies, like the US, for removing corruption and social deterioration within the Philippines.