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Why Duterte must own up to the Philippines' COVID-19 disaster

Despite good intentions, corruption scandals have made the country a basket case

| Philippines
Duterte has stubbornly refused to give up on his failed strategy.   © Malacanang Presidential Photographers Division/AP

Richard Heydarian is an Asia-based academic, columnist and author of "The Rise of Duterte: A Populist Revolt Against Elite Democracy" and the "The Indo-Pacific: Trump, China and the New Struggle for Global Mastery."

No stranger to crisis and natural disasters, the Philippines' response to major calamities has long been hampered by weak institutions and a notoriously corrupt bureaucracy. But President Rodrigo Duterte's disastrous management of the COVID-19 pandemic has struck a new low.

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