Volume 20, Issue 6
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
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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.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): democracy; discourse; Duterte; human rights; Philippines; populism; right-wing populism
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