Duterte Year 1

A Timeline

To call the first year of the Philippines' first Mindanawan president eventful would be an understatement.

Much has happened since President Duterte was sworn into office on June 30, 2016. One year on, we want to know what you think.

Vote thumbs up or down on 50 key presidential decisions. Review the President's first year through the timeline. Refresh to update the tally.

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June 30, 2016

From Davao City mayor to Philippine President

At exactly 12 p.m., Rodrigo Roa Duterte takes his oath as the 16th President of the Republic of the Philippines. In his inaugural speech, the new President addresses the doubts of Filipinos about his tough, unorthodox stance against criminality and illegal drugs, saying that as a former mayor he has seen how both can corrupt. "Why am I here? The past tense was, I am here because I love my country and I love the people of the Philippines. I am here, why? Because I am ready to start my work for the nation."

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July 2016

The Philippine President meets for the first time his Vice President during the change of command ceremony at the AFP grandstand in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City. Eleven days later, on July 12, Leni Robredo takes her oath as chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.

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While President Duterte promised to defend Philippine territory as a presidential candidate, the Duterte administration is cautious in declaring as a victory the groundbreaking decision on terriorial dispute in the South China Sea by the United Nations arbitral tribunal.

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President Duterte meets soldiers at Camp Navarro in Zamboanga City, the first of 23 visits of military camps from July 21 to September 23. Among the things he assures them are salary increases for soldiers and support in the war against drugs.

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President Duterte signs an executive order implementing freedom of information in the executive department. The EO means that any Filipino may freely request government documents from the executive branch.

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July 25, 2016

First Sona emphasizes 'partners for change'

Among the points President Duterte stresses during his two-hour-long State of the Nation Address are: One, his government will be "clean," and corrupt government officials will pay. Two, he will not let up in his war on drugs. Three, he will implement immediately a unilateral ceasefire with the CPP-NPA. Four, his wish is to have a federal government with a president and prime minister–but he will not be among them. And five, he recommends that emergency powers be given to him to solve the worsening traffic in Metro Manila.

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July 2016

President Duterte includes in a national security council meeting former Presidents Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III.

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President Duterte approves a constitutional assembly, or a "con-ass," in order to amend the Constitution to allow for a federal form of government. He earlier wanted a consitutional convention, or "con-con," but decided on con-ass to minimize costs. In a con-ass, Congress sits down to propose amendments to the Constitution.

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August 2016

The Philippine government and members of the CPP-NPA-NDF resume formal peace talks in Oslo, Norway, culminating in the first joint statement on August 26. Separate talks with the NDFP earlier began on June 15, even before the inauguration.

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Without naming Sen. Leila de Lima, President Duterte calls one of his staunchest critics "immoral" and alleged that she condoned drug trafficking during her time as justice secretary. De Lima later called his claims "character assassination."

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September 2016

President Duterte declares a state of lawnessness in Mindanao following an explosion in Davao City that killed at least 14 people and injured 67 hurt. The blast also prompts him to cancel his visit to Brunei, his supposed first foreign state visit.

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President Duterte calls then US President Barack Obama a "son of a whore" after the latter criticized the ongoing war on drugs. The President later apologized, but the damage had been done, as the slur was allegedly the reason why the scheduled meeting between him and Obama was canceled.

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September 6 to 8, 2016

Duterte makes 'rockstar' debut in Asean summit

President Duterte makes his international debut at the 28th and 29th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summits in Vientiane, Laos. While present for the opening, the President reportedly skips an important morning meeting wih US and Indian leaders on Day 3 of the summit, citing illness.

528 likes
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September 2016

In a meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, President Duterte allegedly OKs the execution of drug mule Mary Jane Veloso, whose execution has been indefinitely deffered in Indonesia. Later, it was clarified that the exact statement was, "Follow your own laws. I will not interfere."

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President Duterte admits that his campaign promise to end drugs and criminality within six months is impossible. "Just give me a little extension of maybe another six months."

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President Duterte visits Vietnam, his third Southeast Asian country in September, to bolster cooperation on maritime issues.

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President Duterte begins the end of his speech upon arriving in Davao City from Vietnam with, "Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now there is three million, there’s a three million drug addict. There are. I’d be happy to slaughter them. At least if Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have you know," before pointing at himself. On October 2, he apologizes to the Jewish community for the comparison, but vows to continue his campaign against drugs.

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October 2016

President Duterte signs Executive Order No. 5 adopting “Ambisyon Natin 2040” as the 25-year long-term vision for the Philippines, such that “by 2040, the Philippines shall be a prosperous, predominantly middle-class society where no one is poor.”

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President Duterte formally signs Executive Order No. 6 activating the 911 and 8888 emergency numbers, modeled after the system he enacted in Davao City. Both hotlines, however, have been active since August 1.

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October 18, 2016

Philippines, China agree to settle maritime disputes amongst themselves

The Philippines and China agree to bilateral talks to settle maritime disputes in the South China Sea, a stark contrast from the country's stance under the Aquino administration. In return, China also gives the Philippines $9 billion in soft loans. Aside from China, President Duterte also inked deals in Brunei and Japan.

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October 2016

While ties with China have strengthened since President Duterte's inauguration, ties with the United States take a turn for the worst after the President announces a military and economic split from the country's long-term ally.

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President Duterte breaks his vow against foul language only four days after swearing to God that he would not swear again. "Never enter into illegal drugs. S** of a b****, I will kill you. I’m telling you," he told media during a press conference in Davao City.

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November 2016

President Duterte visits Malaysia, with the aim to talk about emerging piracy and other criminal activies in the countries' borders. He also stopped by Thailand to condole with the country over the death of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

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October 18, 2016

Ferdinand Marcos given hero's burial with Duterte's blessing

Former President Ferdinand Marcos is given a surprise hero's burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. President Duterte, who pushed for the burial as early as May, said he would not stop the Supeme Court's November 6 decision. “The law is the law. It has no emotions at all. It says that if you are a President (you can be buried there). It does not say you have a record of a dictatorship or what not, or being a gentle despot. It does not say anything like that," he said on November 11.

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November 2016

President Duterte attends his second international summit since his inauguration: the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) forum in Lima, Peru. He, however, skips again important events due to illness, this time the evening gala and the photo-op the next day with all heads of states of member countries. Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. again took his place.

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December 2016

Vice President Leni Robredo resigns as chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council after she is disinvited from attending Cabinet meetings due to differences with the sitting adminstration. President Duterte accepts her resignation a day later, and has since said he was not keen on inviting her again to work for his Cabinet.

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President Duterte visits Cambodia and Singapore to lay the groundwork for the 2017 Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit.

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December 22, 2016

P3.35-trillion ‘budget for change’ for 2017 signed

The 2017 General Appropriations Act, 11.6-percent more than 2016 national budget, allots more funding for the administration's war on drugs through police and military modernization and salary increases, as well as for more infrastructure networks and the implementation of the K-12 program. The 2017 budget also allots P31.5 billion for the Mindanao Logistics Infrastructure Network, significantly higher than the current budget of P19.5 billion.

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December 2016

President Duterte orders the closure of all online gambling firms in the country in relation to the charges against gambling tycoon Jack Lam, who has since left the Philippines pending alleged bribery and economic sabotage charges to be filed against him.

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January 2017

President Duterte approves the P1,000 SSS pension increase. To make it sustainable, however, members would have a "corresponding 1.5 percent contribution rate hike in May 2017 and increase in monthly salary credit to P20,000 based from P16,000."

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January 29, 2017

War on drugs suspended

President Duterte orders the Philippine National Police to suspend its antidrug operations, admitting in a press conference that the police force was "rotten to the core." Four days later, the National Bureau of Investigation is also ordered to suspend its antidrug operations, leaving only the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency the only government body allowed to look into alleged "deaths under investigation." The sudden stop to the war on drugs was prompted by the kidnapping and murder of South Korea businessman Jee Ick-Joo inside the PNP headquarters in October 2016 by "Tokhang for ransom" cops.

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February 2017

Amid tension with the United States, President Duterte decides that the Philippines has no need to replace former Ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia Jr.

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March 2017

Despite earlier misgivings, President Duterte signs the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change that seeks to compel UN member countries to reduce carbon emissions and keep global temperatures well below 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.

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March 13, 2017

Duterte defends Robredo in destabilization plot

President Duterte clears the name of Vice President Leni Robredo in the alleged destabilization plot against him a day after their first public meeting at the graduation of Philippine Military Academy cadets. During the ceremony, he apologized midway into his speech for forgetting to acknowledge her presence.

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March 2017

President Duterte visits Myanmar ahead of the 2017 Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit. With this visit, the President completes his introductory visits to Asean member-countries. He also visits Thailand a second time right after.

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President Duterte once again defends Vice President Leni Robredo, this time about efforts by some of his supporters to impeach her. "Is it just because she keeps on harping on me? Let her be. It’s a democracy. Freedom of speech," he says.

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April 2017

President Duterte allows Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) to remain in Pandi town, Bulacan, after the urban poor group illegally occupied formerly empty government housing units.

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President Duterte kicks off his Gulf tour in Saudi Arabia for the ceremonial signing of deals and to meet with overseas Filipinos working in the country. He also goes to Bahrain and Qatar.

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April 20, 2017

Duterte criticized in TIME magazine's 100 most influential people

Former Colombian President Cesar Gaviria in his writeup on President Duterte for TIME: “His approach is as ill considered as his grasp of history (more than half of Hitler’s 11 million victims were Jewish).” He earlier won TIME's "most influential person" online poll. Jailed Sen. Leila de Lima, perhaps the current administration's staunchest critic, on the other hand received praise from the magazine for standing up against the President.

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April 2017

President Duterte welcomes leaders of the 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit to the Philippines as host. At the end of the summit, the member-countries do not release a strong statement regarding the South China Sea dispute.

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May 2017

“Sayang si Gina. I really like her passion,” says President Duterte of the Commission of Appointments' decision to reject Gina Lopez as environment secretary. Prior to her axing, the President was vocally supportive of her shutting down of 14 large-scale nickel mines in the Philippines, lamenting that he was saddened by denunding mountains.

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For her services since the presidential campaign, President Duterte rewards dancer turned blogger Mocha Uson with a position as assistant communications secretary. She now earns P106,000 monthly under salary grade 29, on top of government allowances.

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Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano assumes his post right away, while Interior Secretary Eduardo Año will step into his new role after he retires from the military on October 26.

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President Duterte visits Cambodia a second time to attend the World Economic Forum. He also makes a brief stopover in Hong Kong before proceeding to China to attend the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) for International Cooperation.

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Acting on orders of the President, the Philippine government says it will reject on a case-by-case basis all forms of aid with conditions, including an alleged 250 million euros from the European Union due to their alleged interference in the country's internal affairs.

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President Duterte meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in a landmark state visit to Russia. The two promise to reinforce cooperation between countries.

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May 23, 2017

Martial law declared in Mindanao

President Duterte declares martial law in the whole Mindanao after rebels belonging to the Maute Group seize Marawi City, burning institutions and killing Christians. The decision, he says, does not come easy, but he is not afraid of declaring martial law in the whole Philippines should the crisis escalate beyond the southern island group.

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June 2017

President Duterte has this to say to former first daughter Chelsea Clinton, who criticized his rape joke on Twitter: "I will tell her, ‘when your father, the President of the United States, was screwing (Monica) Lewinsky and the girls there in the White House, how did you feel? Did you slam your father?’”

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President Duterte skips the commemoration of Independence Day in Luneta, opting instead to rest following days of visits to the families of soldiers who died in Marawi City. Vice President Leni Robredo led the rites in his stead, accompanied by Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano.

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President Duterte appears in public for the first time in five days to quell speculations that his health was deterioriating. He also said that during his absence he traveled for two days “incognito” with his close aide to an undisclosed place in Mindanao.

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