ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon Print

Duterte's controversial legacy: Making Philippine strongmen 'cool'

Biographer expects firebrand to stay active after Marcos replaces him on Thursday

The Philippines' soon-to-be-former President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a rally in Davao in May. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

MANILA -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will leave office on Thursday after a rocky six-year term during which he waged a brutal drug war, embraced China despite a maritime feud, crushed political opponents and shamed tycoons.

Duterte's strongman style of governance alarmed human rights advocates and complicated ties with the U.S. -- Manila's defense treaty ally and key trading partner. Nevertheless, he enjoyed overwhelming domestic popularity that endures to this day. Experts say his brand of politics also contributed to the victory of his successor, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the son and namesake of the late Philippine dictator to whom Duterte has often been compared.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Discover the all new Nikkei Asia app

  • Take your reading anywhere with offline reading functions
  • Never miss a story with breaking news alerts
  • Customize your reading experience

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more