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‘Duterte Harry: Fire and Fury in Philippines’

What could be considered as President Rodrigo Duterte’s first biography as the country’s chief executive has been written by a foreign journalist whom he cursed back in 2016.

Jonathan Miller, the British correspondent whom President Rodrigo Duterte has cursed before, has written what could be considered the first biography of the strongman. Facebook/Jonathan Miller
Jonathan Miller, a news correspondent for the Bangkok-based Asia of Channel 4 News, has released the 352-page book, “Duterte Harry: Fire and Fury in the Philippines” published by the Australian firm Scribe Publications in Melbourne.

The release coincides with the date two years ago when Duterte, a hitherto local politician swept to national prominence, took his oath at the country’s 16th president. 

The book was written by Miller, who had been correspondent for Channel 4 News for 12,   to offer a closer look at President Duterte’s background and real deal behind his strongman tendencies.

Before taking over in the Bangkok Bureau in late 2015 of Channel 4 News, Miller had been Foreign Affairs Correspondent for the news organization for 12 years, reporting on news across the Middle East, Africa and the Americas. 

In that time, he won four Royal Television Society Awards and four Amnesty International TV News awards for the program. 

In a related development:

•Contrary to what President Duterte said that the Philippine economy was in the “doldrum”, data shows the Philippines gross domestic product growth has been sustained.

In an article by Entrepreneur.ph, showing how the Philippine economy and markets have been affected during the two-year period of Duterte’s presidency, it has shown that the GDP of the country has been sustained in the previous quarters.

The unemployment rate has also been noticeably down compared to the period before Duterte took office. From 6.1 percent on the Quarter 2 of 2016, it dropped to 5.3 percent in the Quarter 1 one of 2018.

In an interview, Miller also referred to the President as “the embodiment of populism,” which was defined by BBC News as a type of leader that loathes “complicated democratic systems” of the modern government.

The book also discusses how Duterte has “subverted and attacked the core democratic institutions” of the Philippines and what made him as a leader.

Miller added in the interview his inspiration in writing the book was his personal encounter with the President back in November 2016.

Miller was covering Duterte’s press briefing at the Davao International Airport, minutes after he arrived from the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit when he challenged him to comment on the extrajudicial killings exceeding the death count during martial law to which Duterte had not responded politely.

The President did not give a direct answer to Miller and instead discussed the United States' alleged human rights violation and its “hypocrisy.” 

Duterte added that Miller should not question him since he was not part of the International Criminal Court. The President eventually cursed him.

Miller said in the interview with New Mandala that Duterte’s persona got him “fascinated.” 

He also mentioned that the President was “really authoritarian, anti-democratic force who wants power,” adding how Duterte was mayor of Davao for 22 years, with his family remaining in political power in the city.

According to Entrepreneur.ph, the government’s “Build, Build, Build program” had also significantly affected the infrastructure spending, rising from P124.2 billion in Quarter 2 of 2016 to P157.1 billion in Quarter 1 of 2018.

On the other hand, other data suggest that along with the growth of the economy are the rising prices of goods and services and fall of the markets.

Primarily affected by the TRAIN or Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law and world oil prices, the Philippines inflation was continuing to be high.

The Philippine peso has also continued being the worst, hitting P54 to $1, the 12th year low by June 28.

The bear market is also suffering a 20-percent decline according to the Philippine Stock Exchange Composite Index, from its recent peak back in January this year.

Economic analysts generalized though the prospects of the economy seems very good especially that the government has spent on infrastructure, but some of them fear that the “erratic and crass leadership style,” as quoted from Capital Economics, would affect the possible future of Philippines economy. 

Topics: President Rodrigo Duterte , biography , Jonathan Miller , Duterte Harry: Fire and Fury in the Philippines
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