Tricky balancing act awaits winner of Philippines presidential election

Pasay City, south of Manila, Oct. 27 2015: Filipino Liberal Party presidential candidate Manuel ‘Mar’ Roxas III on the campaign trail (source: dpa)
Pasay City, south of Manila, Oct. 27 2015: Filipino Liberal Party presidential candidate Manuel ‘Mar’ Roxas III on the campaign trail (source: dpa)

As it gears up for the sixth presidential election since its 1986 revolution, the Philippines faces a host of challenges on the economy, foreign policy and domestic political reform. The biggest issue is tensions with China, but the incoming president will also have to tackle corruption to unleash this young, populous country’s economic potential. Three candidates have emerged as leading contenders for the presidency. Whoever wins will find their options limited by the delicate state of international relations and entrenched vested interests at home, writes GIS guest expert Brendan O’Reilly.

With elections in May 2016 already looming large in the Philippines, the biggest issue by far ...

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