Philippines. At the beginning of the year, the Senate initiated a civil trial against the Chief Judge of the Supreme Court, Renato Corona, who was suspected of corruption and of trying to prevent a lawsuit against former President Gloria Arroyo. After a dramatic televised trial, Corona was found guilty of corruption – he had secretly secured large bank assets. He was deposed in May and suspended from all public office in the future. It was the first time a high-ranking official was convicted by national law, and it was seen as a success for President Benigno Aquino and his campaign against corruption.
Prosecution was also filed in April against President Arroyo, who was arrested in November for suspected election fraud. In July, she was released on bail, but was still prohibited from leaving the country. In October, Arroyo was arrested again, now on suspicion of stealing millions from a state charity lottery. Arroyo, who was sick, was detained at a military hospital.
A conflict with China over the boundary line in the South China Sea intensified in April. When the Philippine Coast Guard attempted to control Chinese fishing boats at the disputed Scarborough Reef, China sent patrol boats blocking Philippine fishermen. Demonstrations against China took place in the capital Manila. The countries have long disputed the supremacy over the reef. The boats were withdrawn in June with reference to approaching storms with no solution to the conflict.
- AbbreviationFinder.org: Provides most commonly used acronyms and abbreviations for Philippines. Also includes location map, major cities, and country overview.
Interior Minister Jesse Robredo died in an air crash in August. Several national mourning days were announced and many publicly expressed their grief as Robredo was very popular and known as an indomitable politician.
In October, the government and the largest Muslim rebel group in the country, the MILF, signed a framework agreement on peace in a new attempt to put a stop to the more than 40-year-old armed conflict in the southern Philippines. The settlement included plans for a Muslim region with increased self-government in the southern Philippines, called Bangsamoro. The MILF was said to have given up its demands on its own state and eventually agreed to disarm, but no details of a future peace agreement were available. The framework agreement was nevertheless seen as a victory for President Aquino, who came to power with promises to try to make peace with the guerrillas.
Aquino was also praised abroad for his fight against corruption. Growth in the Philippines was high, more and more foreign investors were attracted to the country and the Manila Stock Exchange set a record during the year.
The typhoon Bopha, an unusual tropical storm, advanced across the country in December, causing major damage. Hundreds of thousands of people were forced to flee their homes and over 1,500 perished.
A new law was passed on free contraception and family planning. The law was the result of a long political battle where not least the Catholic Church struggled to increase access to contraception. The supporters hoped that the law would lead to reduced poverty and mortality for women.
15 killed in two suicide bombings on Jolo
Fifteen people are killed and about 70 injured in two suicide bombings on the southern island of Jolo. Eight of the victims belonged to the security forces and six were civilians. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the military says it was carried out by two widows of Abu Sayyaf members.
The corona pandemic is hitting the Philippines’ economy hard
21th of August
The Philippine economy has been hit hard by the corona pandemic. GDPhas fallen by just over 16.5 percent during the first half of the year. That is significantly more than during the Asian financial crisis of 1998, which hit the Philippines hard. This is happening at the same time as the number of covid-19 infected in the country is growing. Almost 4,800 new cases of the virus disease and 59 deaths are reported today. This means that more than 182,000 inhabitants have been infected since the pandemic reached the country in March, of which almost 3,000 have died, according to official figures. This means that the number of cases has increased sixfold since the authorities eased the restrictions in June. In early August, the authorities reintroduced certain restrictions in the area around the capital Manila. Analysts point out that the Philippine economy will not recover until the pandemic is under control and private consumption, which has been driving growth for several years, is picking up again.
The start of school is postponed
The start of school in the Philippines is now postponed once again, until 5 October. This is after an increase in the number of people infected with covid-19, and because classrooms are used for people who need to be quarantined. All schools in the country have been closed since March. For the time being, some teaching takes place via the internet, TV and radio broadcasts. The new school year usually begins in June. In October, the Philippines will begin testing people for the virus vaccine that Russia has developed.
Abu Sayyaf leader arrested
Abduljihad Susukan, who holds a leading position in the terrorist organization Abu Sayyaf, was arrested in the city of Davao on the southern island of Mindanao. He was taken from there to Manila, where charges are pending for 23 murders, five kidnappings and six attempted murders. He is suspected, among other things, of the kidnapping of two Canadian tourists who were beheaded in 2016 after Manila and Ottawa refused to pay the ransom demanded by the kidnappers. Preparedness is heightened in the Philippines, as authorities fear the arrest will trigger revenge attacks from Abu Sayyaf.
Manila is shut down again
One in four Filipinos, more than 27 million people, is being re-quarantined following warnings that the country is losing control of the corona pandemic. Since the community began to reopen, after a months-long shutdown, the number of covid cases has quintupled to 100,000. It is the capital Manila and four surrounding provinces that are affected by the new restrictions. All public transport and all air traffic to the area will be stopped. Anyone who can be ordered to stay home and only go out if they really have to or to exercise. Only a small number of companies are allowed to conduct their business, and restaurants can only offer takeaway food. To date, 2,000 people have died from covid-19 in the Philippines.
According to countryaah, the population of Philippines in 2012 was 102,113,101, ranking number 12 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.680% yearly, and the population density was 342.4664 people per km2.