Strongman, patronage and fake news
Anti-human rights discourses and populism in the Philippines
Human rights are essential pillars of democracies. But under populism, they are a proclaimed nemesis of political leaders who claim to represent the common people. This article argues that the discourses of strongman, patronage and fake news constitute three prominent right-wing populist ploys that erode human rights in Rodrigo Duterte’s Philippines. It interrogates the communicative power of populism as a means of disfiguring free expression and press freedom. Drawing from human rights and media reports and interviews, the pro-human rights current is reformatted by strongman pronouncement in the war on drugs, unity of long-established blocs of power through patronage, and belligerent charge of fake news.
- 2.Human rights and the Philippine context
- 3.Why human rights under Duterte?
- 5.Discourse one: The strongman leader
- 6.Discourse two: Historicized unity through patronage
- 7.Discourse three: Fake news