Philippines. According to Countryaah, the capital of Philippines is Manila. Nine years after the death of President Ferdinand Marcos, the over $ 500 million that he spent over 20 years in Swiss bank accounts could finally be transferred to the Philippines. This happened since the Supreme Court of Switzerland in April rejected a final attempt by Marco’s survivors to halt the transfer. The money was deposited with the Philippine Riksbank in Manila, pending the determination of who is the rightful owner.
In other ways, too, the Marcoseran 1965-86 was reminded. The president’s widow Imelda Marcos, sentenced to twelve years in prison for corruption but free from bail after appeal, announced at the beginning of the year that she would stand in the presidential election in May. In April, however, she withdrew her candidacy “to save the people a bloody choice”. Several opinion polls had then shown very weak voter support for her. In October, she was surprisingly and definitively acquitted of the corruption charges by the Supreme Court.
After Imelda Marco’s resignation, ten presidential candidates remained in the May election. The 61-year-old Vice President and Opposition candidate Joseph Estrada, former movie actor and idol of millions of poor, quickly emerged as the favorite to succeed President Fidel Ramos. The election was also a major victory for Estrada, who received close to 40% of the vote and took office as head of state on June 30.
A severe blow to Philippine self-esteem came in the fall when it was announced that Philippine Airlines (PAL), Asia’s oldest airline with its 57 years, would be shut down. Billions of debts and labor conflicts had forced the company to its knees, and since the staff rejected a bid for peace in exchange for co-ownership, all flights were canceled on 23 September. However, the bid was later adopted, and in October PAL resumed its domestic flight to a limited extent. Foreign traffic to the US and Japan was also resumed.
In April 2012, the Philippines signed the Supplementary Protocol to the UN Convention on Torture, but without the implementation of any legislation in the country where torture continues to be widespread.
In October, the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front signed a framework declaration to pave the way for a peace process ending the armed struggle for independence in Mindanao. That same month, Congress passed the so-called Cybercrime Prevention Act, which provides up to 12 years in prison for commenting on the Internet that is considered backward. The law triggered a popular outcry and the Supreme Court subsequently suspended the law, citing it to undergo a legal assessment.
Aquino continues to enjoy considerable popular and political support, as the economy is doing better than under his predecessor in the presidential office. The number of disappearances and political murders has also decreased, but the level of threats against journalists and members of popular organizations remains unchanged, and no one has been convicted of political murders under the Aquino administration. The EU and the Philippines strengthened relations in July 2012 when they signed a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. But the United States remains the country’s most important ally and arms supplier.
In January 2013, Aquino signed a law to protect the country’s $ 1.9 million. servants. The same month, the country ratified the ILO Domestic Workers Convention No. 189, which will help the country’s $ 1.5 million. servants working abroad. Among other things. in Denmark where they are referred to as “Au-Pair girls”, to justify the low pay and humiliating working conditions.
In May, the president signed the K-12 law that would strengthen the level of education in the country. The law must ensure the right to kindergarten and 12 years of schooling.
There are still more armed riots in the country. In February 2013, an attempt to initiate peace talks between the government and the NPA collapsed. In September, similar fighting broke out between the country’s military, police and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in Zamboanga. 161 civilians, partisans and soldiers were reported killed in the 3-week fighting that also spread to Basilan. Further south was the Islamist Abu Sayyaf group and was reported in September to have abducted 2 people for demanding ransom.
Aquino was also unable to put up with the impunity for soldiers and police, and human rights violations continued. In 2013, 7 journalists were murdered and a further 3 were tried and convicted of defamation. They had written articles about the authorities’ criminal activities.