Drug war, Is­lamists ‘ris­ing’ risks for Philip­pines

Sunday Observer - - NEWS - ANILA -

MPres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s deadly drug war and armed Is­lamist re­bel­lion pose “ris­ing” risks to the Philip­pine econ­omy, though it should con­tinue to grow ro­bustly in the short term, Moody’s In­vestors Ser­vice said.

Duterte is bat­tling mil­i­tants in the south­ern city of Marawi, while rights groups have ac­cused him of or­ches­trat­ing a crime against hu­man­ity with po­lice killing more than 3 800 drug sus­pects in 14 months. “The re-emer­gence of con­flict in the south­ern Philip­pines, as well as the Duterte ad­min­is­tra­tion’s fo­cus on the erad­i­ca­tion of il­le­gal drugs, rep­re­sents a ris­ing but un­likely risk of a de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in eco­nomic per­for­mance and in­sti­tu­tional strength,” the credit rat­ings agency said. Sound eco­nomic and fis­cal poli­cies in­clud­ing a fo­cus on in­fra­struc­ture devel­op­ment bal­ance out po­lit­i­cal and other risks, it said in a coun­try re­port re­leased on Friday that af­firmed the Philip­pines’ in­vest­ment-grade credit rat­ing and sta­ble out­look. But mar­tial law, im­posed by Duterte on the south­ern re­gion of Min­danao to stop the Is­lamist threat, could be de­clared else­where in the coun­try and up­set this bal­ance, it said. “(A) wors­en­ing of the Is­lamist in­sur­gency in Min­danao... could lead to an ex­pan­sion of mar­tial law, un­der­mine both for­eign and do­mes­tic business con­fi­dence, and dis­rupt eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity in other parts of the coun­try,” it said.

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