The election of the violent Philippine autocrat Rodrigo Duterte and the subsequent widespread extrajudicial killings, torture, and other crimes against humanity was a blow to the rule of law in the Philippines and the democracy advocates who have struggled to make a just society after centuries of colonial exploitation.
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Archaeologists have determined from a butchered rhinoceros that the Philippine island of Luzon was inhabited by hominins hundreds of thousands of years before anatomically modern humans arrived. Read the rest
Been wondering what is happening on Filipino television? Wonder no more. They're dressing up pre-pubescent boys to look like The Bee Gees and then having them cover the band's 1979 hit, "Too Much Heaven."
I kid you not. Just look:
This clip is from Your Face Sounds Familiar, a show that features celebrities impersonating singers. When not in disco clothes, the trio of young men -- Francis Concepcion, Mackie Empuerto and Kiefer Sanchez -- are in their own band called the TNT Boys. They recently made an appearance on the UK edition of Little Big Shots.
Incidentally, TNT stands for Tawag ng Tanghalan which is the amateur singing competition show where they were discovered.
Their performance reminded me of this video of Echo, that 7-year-old Filipino boy from a few year's back who sang "More Than a Woman" with his dad. Read the rest
Rodrigo Duterte, president of the Philippines, has been the source of many shocks since he took office last year: he admitted to murdering people as a teen gangbanger and then later as a public official; he zeroed out the budget for the National Commission on Human Rights, and announced that deposed mass-murdering dictator Ferdinand Marcos would be treated as a hero, even as he rolled out death squads that have murdered thousands in cold blood (he also hears voices from God).
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In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, London Business School organizational behavior scholars Niro Sivanathan and Hemant Kakkar used empirical methods to find the socioeconomic circumstances that predict when voters will elect "dominance-style" strongman leaders like "Donald Trump, Viktor Orban, Rodrigo Duterte, Nicolás Maduro and Recep Erdogan."
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The Philippines is ruled by an admitted murderer, President Rodrigo Duterte (previously), whose death squads have operated with impunity since he took office last year (Trump loves him). Read the rest
Juz Alvarado captured this footage of a street artist painting a "Zen" keychain using paint-filled syringes. Read the rest
President Trump’s recent phone call with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte wasn't released in detail by the Trump White House, but someone else leaked it. Trump praises Duterte on the call for doing an “unbelievable job on the drug problem,” which consists of Duterte literally murdering people in extrajudicial street executions. Read the rest
Wordfence, a security research company, discovered that the reason Algeria is the country most often seen in attacks on WordPress blogs is that the country's largest ISP distributes home routers that are locked in an insecure state, with an open port that lets attackers seize control of them and use them to stage attacks on higher-value targets. Read the rest
German photographer Bernard Lang has produced a photo series documenting the incredible overcrowding in the slums of Manila, a city whose mean density is 36,000 people/square mile, rising to 200,000 people in the city's 500 riverside slums. Read the rest
Before Rodrigo Duterte was elected president of the Philippines, he was the mayor of the southern city of Davao, where he boasted of authorizing death-squads that murdered suspected drug-users and drug-dealers with impunity. Read the rest
Bruce Sterling's characteristically acerbic remarks on the US election gets to a really important point: internet-based movements have been amazing at tearing down corrupt establishment system, but have failed (so far) to create the kinds of stable governance structures that build up something better from the ruins. Read the rest
Duterte has vowed to stop using "epithets" (for example, he called Pope Francis a "son of a bitch" and told Obama to "go to hell") because God threatened to crash the airplane he was flying home from Japan in if he didn't cut it out. Read the rest
Jeepneys are the unofficial national vehicle of the Philippines. Originally made from modified surplus US jeeps after World War II by companies like Sarao, they developed into a colorful and stylized form of public transportation. Read the rest
Rodrigo Duterte is the new president of the Philippines: he ran on a promise to be a "dictator" and endorsed execution by vigilante death-squad as a way of combating crime; now he's announced that he will give a hero's burial to the embalmed corpse of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who committed mass-scale human rights abuses and embezzled $10B from the national treasury. Read the rest
In late March, the Philippine Commission on Elections website was defaced in an Anonymous op, and a few days later, Lulzsec Pilipinas dumped its voter database. At the time, the Commission claimed that no sensitive information was exposed in the breach, but that is clearly not the case. Read the rest