Leader-driven Change from Aquino to Duterte: Towards a Redirection or Restructuring in Philippine Foreign Policy?

2020-06-26T08:19:32Z (GMT) by Andrea Chloe Wong Samir Dalipi

The global perceptions of leaders have significant influence in a state’s foreign policy. In the Philippines’ case, the striking contrast between Presidents Benigno Aquino III, who possesses a moralist and liberalist views, and Duterte, who holds a legalist and realist global perceptions, led to significant changes in their foreign policies. These are evident in their conflicting stance on two cases involving the death penalty of a Filipino worker in Indonesia in 2013; and the country’s maritime arbitration case with China filed in 2013 and eventually won in 2016. Their divergence caused important leader-driven changes, which may result in either a redirection or a restructuring in the country’s foreign policy.