Editorial: The people have spoken: Introducing the new President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte

On May 9, the Philippines held its national and local elections, electing a new President and Vice President, as well as senators, mayors and other local officials. Though the official results will be released later in June, presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte is the presumptive winner of the presidential race with a 6 million vote lead over his main contender, Manuel Roxas II. It is notable that the popular vote has chosen Duterte as the new president, despite of allegations of murder, of his infamous “Davao Death Squad” (DDS), and outspoken willingness to kill criminals and anyone who dares to defy his rule. Why has this been so?

To understand Duterte’s popularity, one must understand the mood of the majority of Filipinos towards their government and place in society. For one, his rise comes at a time of increasing anger against the rampant corruption in the Philippine government. This corruption is represented by the candidates themselves, in terms of dynastic families continuing to hold power, as well as in the corruption of tax funds, bribery of officials, and others. Manuel ‘Mar’ Roxas II, the second ranked candidate, is the grandson of former President Manuel Roxas. Grace Poe, another close contender, is the daughter of Fernando Poe Jr, a famous figure in Philippine politics and popular culture. Jejomar Binay, another candidate, has various family members in different levels of government as well as many charges of corruption against him.

Duterte appears to be the antithesis to these candidates. Formerly the mayor of Davao City, he will be the first President who hails from the Southern Philippines in a position dominated by candidates from the North. He is from a lower socioeconomic class than his opponents and has declared to have a simple lifestyle, though recent reports have shown that he too has unaccounted for wealth. He is not part of a dynasty in national politics, which has been a main source of frustration of Filipinos against government officials. He stands firm against corruption, and has vowed to file an executive order to implement Freedom of Information (FOI) regarding the government’s executive branch, which was started by President Ninoy ‘NoyNoy’ Aquino Jr but had failed to pass in Congress. Most of all, the dominating feature of his platform is his promise to solve crime in the Philippines in 3-6 months, allowing for the possibility of assassinations, death squads, as well as the dumping of bodies in Manila Bay. His apparent ability to keep order in Davao City with similar methods seems to give credibility for this promise.

He is what the majority of Filipinos have seen as the saviour the Philippines so desperately needs. Indeed, while Aquino has managed to spearhead the largest economic growth since the era of martial law and earn the Philippines the title of a ‘Rising Asian Tiger’, this has largely not been felt at the lower layers of society. About a quarter of the Philippines’ population remains in poverty. With the governmental corruption, recent disastrous storms that have devastated the country, and lack of visible change, the frustration has grown. It is evident that a hero is needed to save the nation.

But can Duterte save the Philippines? A president’s term lasts only 6 years, and as reflected in other parts of the world such as the US, change can be slow, frustratingly so, and it can bring criticism on the leader’s apparent inability to make it happen faster. But this is also what makes Duterte so popular – he is promising quick, immediate change for problems the nation, especially its lower socioeconomic classes, have experienced for so long.

The people have spoken for the Punisher, the so-called Donald Trump of the East to become the new President of the Philippines. Experts fear that this new regime can bring an end to democracy in the Philippines and cause ripple effects across Southeast Asia. Others worry for the Philippines’ foreign relations during his rule, especially with consideration to the conflict in the South China Sea. Only time will prove to tell whether Duterte was the right choice.

The Philippine election results can be found at this link, provided by the news outlet Rappler. The overseas votes are the remaining ones to be counted.

Our favourite YouTube channels for nerdy entertainment

We have compiled a list of our favourite YouTube channels and playlists filled with educational, nerdy and thought provoking content. These channels will leave you wanting for more – so just let them talk nerdy to you.

1) DNews

DNews produces videos covering thought provoking subjects and research on new scientific findings. They also answer questions you may have asked yourself, but never had the nerve to ask – such as why do dogs spin before they poop?

2) Stuff Mom Never Told You

Cristen Conger talks about the history, science, psychology and culture of women. Covering topics such as the history of wardrobe, makeup and dating culture. She shatters gender stereotypes and attempts to solve today’s gender-based misunderstandings.


AsapSCIENCE produces weekly videos that touch on various subjects including the brain and mental health, space and exploration, the effects of drugs on the body, pets, romance and sexuality and more. You name it!

4) TestTube News


The Art of War looks at hypothetical scenarios of countries with tensions going to war. What would happen if two rivalring nations had a war against each other? Who would win?

The Strength of Nations looks at the military and economic strength of nations at a worldwide level.

Can’t we all Just Get Along? discusses why nations are in conflict with each other. Whether there are borders cutting cultural or tribal territory, or just a violent history – this series takes a close look of those stories.

5) Laci Green

Laci Green hosts Sex +, covering all sorts of topics about gender, feminism and sexuality. Talking about important topics – from consent, body image, to the problems with the objectification of women, Laci has all the sex related education you’ve been looking for!

6) Vice

Vice focuses on documentary-style investigative journalism – covering world news, politics, sex and travel among others.

7) Motherboard

Motherboard travels the world to uncover stories of the future – examining the intersection of technology, science and humans.

8) Numberphile

Numberphile is a series by mathematicians and physicists teaching you all about numbers. Do you want to know how you can win at rock paper scissors by using math?

9) It’s Okay to be Smart

It’s Okay to be Smart is hosted by Ph.D Biologists and Science Writer Joe Hanson. He also covers a variety of topics and states on his website his mission is to teach science as more than facts – science is for everyone and it impacts every part of our lives.

10) Crash Course

Crash Course is a YouTube channel teaching different subjects including: world history, chemistry, psychology, anatomy and physiology, government and politics, astronomy and economics.

11) Minute Physics

Minute Physics is a series explaining psychics-related topics. From the theory of gravity to examining the hollow earth theory, minute physics will tickle your learning senses. Our favourite: Is it better to Walk or Run in the Rain? (Good to know if you live in Vancouver, like we do!)

12) Top 6

Top 6 is a quirky, educational and comedic YouTube series – part of the YouTube channel =3 – it is sure to give you a laugh! Kelly Landry brings you a facts count down on various topics: Top 6 Facts About Kissing, Top 6 Smartest People Alive, Top 6 Real Life Super Powers, Top 6 Things Science Got Wrong, well, you get the point.

Most videos have a section titled, “You’re About to Learn Some Shit,” – for being both nerdy and funny, we had to include it in this list.

This is why it was better to be a kid back in the old days! Or was it? (VIDEO)

A new video has surface online explaining “juvenoia” – the belief that during each generation children were better off in the previous one.

The video was uploaded by the popular YouTube channel Vsauce, a brand created by YouTube personality Michael Stevens.

In the video Steven explains Sociologist David Finkelhorn was the first to coin the term “juvenoia,” – meaning an “exaggerated fear” about what influences children nowadays. A fear according to Finkelhorn, exists in every generation.

This can be seen in an article published by the Sunday Magazine in 1871 regarding the dying out of letter writing, “we fire off a multitude of rapid and short notes, instead of sitting down to have a good talk over a real sheet of paper.”

Can we say the same for smart phones today?

Stevens explains a series of examples through different generations all which can be seen on the website xkxd.com.

Watch the video and decide for yourself. Is technology and other factors of our time negatively affecting kids these days?