Philippines. The credit rating agency Fitch raised its
credit rating for the Philippines in March so that the
country for the first time received a so-called investment
grade and no longer had debris status. According to
Countryaah, the background was
increased financial stability, ongoing reform work and
growth that was at the top of the region. The new credit
rating was expected to result in lower borrowing costs and
attract new investors.
In May, midterm elections were held. More than 60 people
were killed in violence during the election movement.
President Benigno Aquino himself called the elections a
referendum on his attempt to reform the political system and
the underperforming economy. Aquino was very popular halfway
into his six-year presidential term. An alliance led by his
Liberal party also became the largest in the House of
Representatives by a wide margin and gained a majority in
the Senate. Former President Joseph Estrada, who was deposed
in a popular uprising in 2001, was elected mayor of the
capital Manila. Gloria Arroyo, also former president, was
re-elected as a member of the House of Representatives,
despite being detained on suspicion of corruption. Imelda
Marcos, widow of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, was also
allowed to retain his place in the House of Representatives.
The diplomatic relations with Taiwan were disturbed after
a Taiwanese fisherman was shot dead by the Coast Guard in
May in water claimed by both countries. When the Philippines
claimed that it was done in self-defense, Taiwan withdrew
diplomatic representation and imposed financial sanctions.
Relations were normalized only three months later, when the
Philippines made a formal apology, promised compensation to
the fisherman's relatives and promised to prosecute eight
Coast Guard employees.
The government was reported in July to have reached an
agreement with the MILF (Moro's Islamic Liberation Front),
the largest Muslim rebel group in the country, to divide
revenue from natural resources on the island of Mindanao so
that the MILF would gain 75% from the extraction of, among
other things. gold and copper. The settlement was part of
the peace talks that started in 2012. Remaining to be
resolved were questions of disarmament and how far the
promised autonomy in a Muslim region in the south would go.
In September, rebels from the smaller Muslim rebel group
MNLF (Moro's National Liberation Front) attacked residential
areas in the million city of Zamboanga and took close to 200
residents hostage. For a couple of weeks, battles were
fought that led to over 200 being killed, thousands of
houses set on fire and at least 100,000 people driven from
their homes. Eventually, the hostage was released or
released and close to 300 rebels gave up.
A tropical cyclone with the highest wind speeds ever
measured over land hit the Philippines in November. The
typhoon Haiyan, or Yolanda, swept across the middle of the
country, causing a humanitarian disaster. Villages and
cities were destroyed and millions of people destroyed or
destroyed their homes. After a month, 6,000 people had been
found dead and many were still missing. Tacloban, the
provincial capital of Leyte, was particularly hard hit.