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The Philippines: Playing Out Long Conflicts

from THE PHILIPPINES

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 October 2015

Paul A. Rodell
Affiliation:
Georgia Southern University
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Summary

After President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's surprise announcement that she would not run for re-election so she could remove herself from the distraction of politics and be better able to build her “Strong Republic”, the first months of 2003 seemed to pass in relative calm. There was a significant problem with a growing budget deficit, but the government soon initiated a programme that eased pressure there. More importantly, the political opposition was not united while favourable legal decisions paved the way for the long-delayed return of ill-gotten Marcos loot and for the eventual conviction of former president Estrada. Meanwhile, the decades-old insurgency by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) lost additional credibility with the senseless murder of former New People's Army (NPA) chief Romulo Kintanar, and a February offensive against the Muslim Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) dealt that armed rebellion another significant blow.

This relatively upbeat scenario changed in late July when an otherwise inept rebellion by a few hundred soldiers revealed much deeper problems in the country's military and the link of some disgruntled junior officers with prominent members of the political opposition. Suddenly, the government was on the defensive. Then, in August a number of sensational charges were made against the President's husband, Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo, in a series of Senate speeches by a leading member of the opposition. In response, and in the face of declining popularity ratings, the President announced that she would run for re-election after all. By year's end, candidates had been sorted out, alliances shifted, and the stage was set for an election year showdown between a reformist president and a new movie actor–led coalition of Marcos and Estrada administration stalwarts.

The Oakwood Mutiny Shock

The Oakwood Premier Suites is a high-end hotel/apartment facility in the heart of the commercial district of Makati, a Manila suburb that services the Filipino élite, international business, and diplomatic communities.

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Publisher: ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute
Print publication year: 2004

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