HomeARETEvol. 4 no. 1 (2016)

Hobbesian Aspects of the Duterte Style of Government

Kim Kenette A Collado | Asisclo Iii M. Abonado | Alvin John J Neyra | Heide P Capampangan | Raymundo R. Pavo

Discipline: Philosophy



This study aimed to show the Hobbesian aspects of President Duterte in his actions in the Philippine political context, in the lens of Thomas Hobbes’ philosophy. The people of the Philippines are unsatisfied with the past leaders’ political governance in helping the Philippine society to combat its socio-political problems that is hindering development and progression. With that, this study emphasize and connotes the effectivity of an authoritarian government in governance and by this kind of principle; it can bring solution to the socio-political problem in the Philippine setting. Besides, this study intended to prove that Philippine Leviathan is possible. Thus, to make this study possible, the researchers employed the phenomenological hermeneutics. Hobbes argued that there was a time before civil society was created, where people in this state of being are innately chaotic and selfish. This is called the state of nature of man. To end this violent setting, Hobbes argued that mankind must forge a covenant with each other. This contract consists of the surrendering of freedom and liberty to an absolute authority. This covenant is called the Social Contract theory. There are similarities in the socio-political situation that is found in Hobbes’ work, the Leviathan and in the Philippine setting, therefore in solving both of their problems, a similar solution can be used. This is the endorsement of an absolute authority that will take away the chaotic conditions of man and save them from civil war and turmoil. In recent times, the Filipinos elected a draconian leader, in the hopes that he will be the vanguard of change and development in the Philippine state. The people in the state of the Philippines must accept that fact that the current President shows “Leviathan-like” characteristics in both political and social aspects and thus can be called a “Filipino Leviathan.”