2018 is a year of so much uneasiness and tension in Philippine politics. It saw one of the greatest crises in the Supreme Court, the bloodiest period in local politics of late, and successive attempts to silence critics of the president and the government. This year also witnessed major political alignments in the Duterte administration: a change in the leadership of the Senate, the election of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as Speaker of the House, the rivalry between Hugpong ng Pagbabago and Partido Demokratiko ng Pilipinas-Lakas ng Bayan, and the eventual termination of the alliance with the radical left. This review aims to understand these developments in Philippine politics. It seeks to know why are there so many rifts and shifts in the political rule of Duterte. These changes can be interpreted as part of an ongoing transition toward democratic regression under the Duterte regime. The disruptive events that ensued throughout the year should be understood as the offshoot of the extant efforts to alter the political status quo since the election of Duterte in 2016. The administration uses these events to consolidate its power by rallying its supporters for the 2019 midterm elections and reconfiguring the alignments within the Duterte bloc.
A.P. Aguirre, (2019), The Philippines in 2018: A year of disruption and consolidation. Philippine Political Science Journal, 40, 100-123.