The administration oddly launched a ‘Duterte Legacy’ campaign with almost two-and-a-half years still left in its term. Likely with a view to the 2022 elections, it will backfire as the public becomes more discerning and less easily manipulated than the administration assumes.
The durability of the Duterte administration will be tested in 2020. It will struggle to arrest the economic slowdown and the social unrest this stirs. It will also be forced to deal with growing political challenges to its rule especially with the prospect of strong international rebuke.
But the far-reaching damage of the administration to the country in the middle of its term is already clear — its neoliberal authoritarianism has greatly worsened elite control of politics and the economy. Ever greater efforts are needed to arrest the continued backsliding of the country’s fledgling democracy in the remaining years of the Duterte watch.