Why Duterte's approval rating stands at 91%

Philippine President knows how to project leadership where 'impression management' trumps real performance

President Rodrigo Duterte's State of the Nation address being aired in the Philippines in July. Though Mr Duterte is the oldest person to be elected Philippine president, he is the most media-savvy and energetic leader in the country's history, says
President Rodrigo Duterte's State of the Nation address being aired in the Philippines in July. Though Mr Duterte is the oldest person to be elected Philippine president, he is the most media-savvy and energetic leader in the country's history, says the writer.PHOTO: REUTERS

"All the world's a stage," wrote Shakespeare. "And one man in his time plays many parts."

Tossed between rapacious empires and feckless oligarchs throughout the centuries, the Philippines has never had any leader like Rodrigo Duterte.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 18, 2020, with the headline 'Why Duterte's approval rating stands at 91%'. Print Edition | Subscribe