Date
25 March 2017
President Duterte gives the EU the one-finger salute after the European bloc expressed concern about his drug crackdown which has killed thousands, including a British national. Photo: Reuters
President Duterte gives the EU the one-finger salute after the European bloc expressed concern about his drug crackdown which has killed thousands, including a British national. Photo: Reuters

S&P warns Philippines downgrade over unpredictable govt

Standard & Poor’s is warning of a credit downgrade for the Philippines, citing unpredictable government policies.

The rating agency said it might downgrade Manila if the new government of President Rodrigo Duterte fails to sustain the country’s fiscal and economic gains, Reuters reports.

A rating upgrade is unlikely in the next two years because of Duterte’s uncertain domestic and foreign policies, S&P said. 

Duterte’s crackdown on drugs, core to a colorful election campaign likened to that of US presidential candidate Donald Trump, has claimed more than 3,800 lives since his June 30 inauguration.

The high toll and mysterious circumstances of many killings have alarmed rights groups, the United States and the United Nations, whose concerns have taunted Duterte and led to diplomatic turbulence as a result of his rebukes.

“We believe this could undermine respect for rule of law and human rights, through the direct challenges it presents to the legitimacy of the judiciary, media, and other democratic institutions,” S&P said in a statement.

S&P said “the stability and predictability of policymaking has diminished somewhat”, adding a higher rating is “unlikely over our two-year ratings horizon”.

The European Union became the latest recipient of a Duterte dressing-down during a speech to soldiers on Tuesday, when he berated the bloc and raised his middle finger.

He was responding to concerns from the EU parliament about drug deaths.

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CG/RA

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