Today, we will share with you the top 10 most controversial issues that have taken place in the Philippines in 2020, mostly during the Duterte Administration. Our list may help you pick out the most important and recent top 10 issues faced by the Philippines government.
But before that, let us share with you briefly about the Philippines and the administration of its current President Duterte.
The Philippines and its 16th President
The Philippines is an archipelago with more than 100 million population. Also, it is the 13th most populated state in the world. The Philippines is an extremely multi-lingual and multi-ethnic country. The geographic and demographic conditions, weak state capacity, and social inequity further constrain the political leadership’s governance capacity.
We have seen that Rodrigo Duterte was duly elected as the 16th President of the Philippines in May 2016. His arrival and policies led not only to improving the economic condition and reducing poverty in the country but also to a decline in the quality of democracy and more or less openly explicit authoritarian rule. Due to that, the Duterte administration faced many protests and controversial issues during its ruling period. These crucially affect the political and overall future of the Philippines.
Now, here are the top 10 most controversial issues in the Philippines in 2020:
TOP 10: Government’s Response to the Recent Typhoons
Consequently, the Philippines is located close to the Pacific Ring of Fire. It leaves the country prone to relatively frequent natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and typhoons. Indeed, In the last few years, the Philippines witnessed several powerful typhoons.
In 2018, Typhoon Mangkhut, which is the strongest storm recorded in the world, barreled through the Nothern Philippines. Moreover, bringing with it, ferocious wind and torrential rain caused damage to many public properties and people. As we have researched, the Philippines is ranked 3 out of 171 countries on a scale of countries most vulnerable to typhoons. It’s obvious for the government to provide adequate infrastructure and public services to all parts of the country with climate conditions. The people, especially youths, staged the protest to address the Duterte administration’s lack of response towards this issue. This issue is in the 10th place on our list of the top 10 most controversial issues in the Philippines.
TOP 9: Good Conduct
Good Conduct Time Allowance controversy holds the 9th place in our list of the top 10 most controversial issues in the Philippines as of January 2020. We have seen that the Bureau of Corrections employees were involved in the Good Conduct Time Allowance controversy in August 2019. It begins with the Director-General and several other government officers signing a document. It contains the release forms of Antonio Sanchez. He is the prime suspect in the rape and murder of Eileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez.
Due to this, Eileen’s and Allen’s university friends held a rally to show their remonstrance towards the release of Sanchez. Furthermore, in September 2020, the court released the killer, Joseph Scott, with a Presidential Pardon from President Rodrigo Duterte. Therefore, several LGBT communities rallied against Duterte’s absolute pardon of Joseph Scott Pemberton on September 11, 2020.
TOP 8: ABS-CBN Franchise Renewal Controversy, Shutdown, and Franchise Denial
Disputes between the government of President Duterte and ABS-CBN arose on the terms and conditions of the Franchise Renewal Agreement. Amid the controversy, the Philippines congress could not renew the franchise before its expiration date.
ABS-CBN is the largest and leading broadcaster in the Philippines. The shutdown of the network creates massive criticism among local celebrities and viewers. With the shutdown, many employees of the company risk losing their jobs. Therefore, many supporters, viewers, employees, and responsible parties of ABS-CBN, held a noise barrage in solidarity as a response to the network.
TOP 7: Lowering the Age of Criminal Responsibility
Lowering the age of criminal liability runs counter to the spirit of various Philippine laws that recognize the vulnerability of minors (House Bill: January 22, 2019). As a result, children aged 9 to 15 will face a criminal charge if found guilty of serious crimes under this proposed bill. Then, two days later, the committee decreased the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 9 to 12 years old.
But, we have witnessed it protested by many organizations such as UNICEF and Save children. In addition, local people used the hashtag #notoloweringofmac to support children and not condemn them as criminals.
TOP 6: Alleged Killing of Farmers by the Military
In the Duterte administration, opposition figures contain farmers’ protests because they claim that the military allegedly killed the farmers. Military and police of the Philippines brutally murdered 14 and arrested 16 farmers in the province of Negros on March 30. The Duterte regime destroyed the lives of a total of 213 farmers in this period.
Furthermore, the farmers and their families with the opposite groups said that the Duterte administration and military should be held responsible for these farmers and families. Thus, the whole people in the Philippines accused the government of these controversial issues.
TOP 5: War on Drugs, Extrajudicial Killings, and Police Brutality
In the Philippines, there is a lot of crime, corruption, and poverty due to drugs. That is why as we have noticed, President Duterte wants the drug problem to be tackled. His goal is to create security for good citizens. Due to this, the country has been experiencing less crime since Duterte’s presidency. But, there is much criticism towards Duterte’s approach and also of the approach of the Philippine National Police.
Consequently, the war on drugs caused many people to die. The violation of many human rights accompanies this. Critics think that Duterte’s war on drugs is morally and legally unjustifiable. This causes a lot of international criticism of Duterte and his task force. Innocent citizens are also unfortunate victims of this war on drugs.
TOP 4: Paniqui, Tarlac Shooting Incident
In the 4th position on our list of the top 10 most controversial issues in the Philippines as of 2020 is the Paniqui Tarlac Shooting Incident. One day, a killing incident was caught on camera and was virally shared among people up to the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte. On December 20, 2020, a police officer shot at his unarmed neighbors following an argument. It occurred in Paniqui, Tarlac, in the Philippines. Furthermore, the killer, Jonel Montales Nuezca, is an incriminatory police officer for homicide cases and multiple administration cases.
Hence, the next day many people condemned killing on social media. They used the hashtag ‘the police are the terrorists. As a result, many groups do gusty rallies to protect against this incident on December 21, 2020. After the incident, some of you may have witnessed the depressing wake of the two victims—our deep condolences from The Daily Top 10 Team.
TOP 3: Red Tagging
Red tagging refers to the malicious blacklist of individuals or organizations critical or not fully supportive of the actions of a sitting government administration. It takes the form of being tagged as either a ‘communist’ or a ‘terrorist.’
The origin red-tagging occurred in October 2020. It started when the military red-tagged the local celebrities Angel Locsin, Liza Soberano, and Catriona Gray. The red-tagging threatened individuals’ lives and safety, and many people lost their lives. People protest against the government and this kind of concept of red-tagging.
TOP 2: Anti-Terrorism Act
The House of Representatives of the Philippines has passed an Anti-Terrorism legislation that grants the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte broad powers to expand what the United Nations has called a widespread campaign of suppressing dissent.
President Duterte is expected to sign the bill, which passed the Senate in February. This will allow authorities to detain suspects without hesitation for up to 24 days, carry out warrantless arrests, and detain people for making social media posts critical to the government.
TOP 1: Government’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
The top issue out of the top 10 controversial issues in the Philippines, mostly faced by the Duterte Administration, is the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, the health authorities confirmed the first infected patient of COVID-19 in the Philippines on 30th January 2020. The diagnosed patient was a tourist from Wuhan, China. Most people blamed the government for the lack of attention to prevent the coronavirus from spreading.
In this case, the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has also received criticism from social media platforms. The irregular way the government follows to avoid the coronavirus may threaten Filipino’s lives. As of 11 January 2021, the Philippines holds the 30th place from around the world with a total of 490,000+ cases, 458,000+ recoveries, and 9,000+ deaths.
What are the Issues in the Philippines in 2022?
President Rodrigo Duterte may act differently from the other leaders of the Philippines. But, there may only be a need for a more layered understanding of the man and his policies. He is the first Philippine President not from a traditional landowning elite, who has dominated the critical centers of power in the capital since Independence.
For your quick reference, here are the Top 10 Most Controversial Issues in the Philippines in 2020:
- Government’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Anti-Terrorism Act
- Red Tagging
- Paniqui, Tarlac Shooting Incident
- War on Drugs, Extrajudicial Killings, and Police Brutality
- Alleged Killing of Farmers by the Military
- Lowering the Age of Criminal Responsibility
- ABS-CBN Franchise Renewal Controversy, Shutdown, and Franchise Denial
- Good Conduct
- Government’s Response to the Recent Typhoons
From The Daily Top 10 Team, it’s our pleasure to help you familiarize yourselves with the unique and most important research-based facts such as those above. For our team’s latest research on this matter, check out our list of the Top 10 Most Controversial Issues in the Philippines in 2022. Make sure you don’t miss it. Enjoy!
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