Raissa Robles

Raissa Robles

Raissa Robles has written for the SCMP since 1996. A freelance journalist specialising in politics, international relations, business and Muslim rebellion, she has contributed to Reuters, the Economist Intelligence Unit, Daily Mail, Times of London, Radio Netherlands and Asiaweek. She runs the award-winning investigative and opinion blog, raissarobles.com. Her book, Marcos Martial Law: Never Again, a brief history of the dictatorship won the 2017 National Book Awards for Non-Fiction. Her Twitter handle is @raissawriter.

Latest from Raissa Robles

Philippine national power grid IPO can guard against China threat: senator

The Philippine government is investigating China’s part ownership of the national grid amid claims Beijing can plunge the country into darkness.

5 Dec 2019 - 8:51PM

The Philippine government is investigating China’s part ownership of the national grid amid claims Beijing can plunge the country into darkness.

Philippine national power grid IPO can guard against China threat: senator
China could use Trojan horse tactic against Philippines, senator says, as fears grow over access to power grid

Risa Hontiveros vows to push for an investigation by the Senate into claims that Beijing can remotely control the electricity network, which the Chinese Foreign Ministry said were ‘completely groundless’.

6 Dec 2019 - 9:43AM

Risa Hontiveros vows to push for an investigation by the Senate into claims that Beijing can remotely control the electricity network, which the Chinese Foreign Ministry said were ‘completely groundless’.

China could use Trojan horse tactic against Philippines, senator says, as fears grow over access to power grid
Why is Bernie Sanders tweeting about Philippine trade unions in his 2020 US election campaign?

The US presidential hopeful has accused the Philippine government of carrying out an ‘abhorrent’ crackdown on activists and labour groups.

25 Nov 2019 - 8:16PM

The US presidential hopeful has accused the Philippine government of carrying out an ‘abhorrent’ crackdown on activists and labour groups.

Why is Bernie Sanders tweeting about Philippine trade unions in his 2020 US election campaign?
China can turn off the Philippine national power grid, officials say

Engineers in China could plunge the country into darkness using a remote operating system supplied by a firm based in Nanjing.

6 Dec 2019 - 1:39PM

Engineers in China could plunge the country into darkness using a remote operating system supplied by a firm based in Nanjing.

China can turn off the Philippine national power grid, officials say
Philippine business community reeling after deaths of titan John Gokongwei Jnr and magnate’s son Lucio ‘Bong’ Tan Jnr

Fujian-born John Gokongwei Jnr, best known as the founder of Cebu Pacific, dies two days before 53-year-old PAL Holdings president Lucio ‘Bong’ Tan Jnr.

21 Nov 2019 - 10:19AM

Fujian-born John Gokongwei Jnr, best known as the founder of Cebu Pacific, dies two days before 53-year-old PAL Holdings president Lucio ‘Bong’ Tan Jnr.

Philippine business community reeling after deaths of titan John Gokongwei Jnr and magnate’s son Lucio ‘Bong’ Tan Jnr
Is Duterte’s ‘drug tsar’ job offer to opposition leader Leni Robredo for real?

The Philippine president was angered by the vice-president’s criticism of his war on drugs, saying: ‘You’re brighter? You try it’.

4 Nov 2019 - 9:36PM

The Philippine president was angered by the vice-president’s criticism of his war on drugs, saying: ‘You’re brighter? You try it’.

Is Duterte’s ‘drug tsar’ job offer to opposition leader Leni Robredo for real?
Putin accepts Duterte invite, just before Manila-Beijing South China Sea oil talks. Coincidence?

The president is set to become the first Russian leader to make a state visit to the Philippines for more than 40 years, according to a former envoy.

10 Dec 2019 - 4:29PM

The president is set to become the first Russian leader to make a state visit to the Philippines for more than 40 years, according to a former envoy.

Putin accepts Duterte invite, just before Manila-Beijing South China Sea oil talks. Coincidence?
China promised Duterte US$9 billion. He’s had only US$924 million in loans and grants. Why?

Beijing in 2016 pledged to fund an array of major construction jobs for the president’s infrastructure programme, but three years on, many projects remain on the drawing board.

18 minutes ago

Beijing in 2016 pledged to fund an array of major construction jobs for the president’s infrastructure programme, but three years on, many projects remain on the drawing board.

China promised Duterte US$9 billion. He’s had only US$924 million in loans and grants. Why?
Russia offers arms technology to the Philippines with ‘no conditions’ as US ties falter

Russia proposes manufacturing light arms and small weapons in the Southeast Asian nation using Russian know-how after meeting between presidents Duterte and Putin this month.

25 Oct 2019 - 2:39AM

Russia proposes manufacturing light arms and small weapons in the Southeast Asian nation using Russian know-how after meeting between presidents Duterte and Putin this month.

Russia offers arms technology to the Philippines with ‘no conditions’ as US ties falter
Philippines ‘ninja cop’ scandal threatens to ruin acting police chief Archie Gamboa’s bid for top post

Gamboa has been accused of only suspending the team leader of the disgraced policemen, despite a recommendation for his sacking. The term ‘ninja cops’ refers to 13 officers accused of stealing and reselling drugs seized in a 2013 bust.

23 Oct 2019 - 10:23AM

Gamboa has been accused of only suspending the team leader of the disgraced policemen, despite a recommendation for his sacking. The term ‘ninja cops’ refers to 13 officers accused of stealing and reselling drugs seized in a 2013 bust.

Philippines ‘ninja cop’ scandal threatens to ruin acting police chief Archie Gamboa’s bid for top post
Duterte ‘shocked’ after bid to smooth Philippine celebrity feud between Gretchen Barretto and sister Marjorie ends in scuffle

Attempt by the Philippine president to reconcile film star family rift between Gretchen Barretto and sister Marjorie ends in scuffle and the intervention of his bodyguards.

15 Nov 2019 - 5:07PM

Attempt by the Philippine president to reconcile film star family rift between Gretchen Barretto and sister Marjorie ends in scuffle and the intervention of his bodyguards.

Duterte ‘shocked’ after bid to smooth Philippine celebrity feud between Gretchen Barretto and sister Marjorie ends in scuffle
New Philippines military chief sees no ‘shooting war’ in South China Sea despite disputes

Lieutenant General Noel Clement says the military supports diplomatic efforts to prevent an escalation of tensions between China and the Philippines in the disputed waterway.

16 minutes ago

Lieutenant General Noel Clement says the military supports diplomatic efforts to prevent an escalation of tensions between China and the Philippines in the disputed waterway.

New Philippines military chief sees no ‘shooting war’ in South China Sea despite disputes
Analysis | Courting Russia with South China Sea oil is a ‘dangerous gamble’ for Duterte

The Philippine president has invited the Russian oil giant Rosneft to explore for oil in the disputed waterway. Experts warn that could put the Philippines in the middle of a three-way tug of war between the US, China and Russia

13 minutes ago

The Philippine president has invited the Russian oil giant Rosneft to explore for oil in the disputed waterway. Experts warn that could put the Philippines in the middle of a three-way tug of war between the US, China and Russia

Courting Russia with South China Sea oil is a ‘dangerous gamble’ for Duterte
Why don’t Manila and Beijing have closer military ties, despite Duterte’s ‘pivot to China’?

China has attempted to entice the Philippines into closer security ties since Duterte became president in 2016, but stand-offs over the South China Sea and a US defence treaty are among the reasons its overtures have been ignored.

11 minutes ago

China has attempted to entice the Philippines into closer security ties since Duterte became president in 2016, but stand-offs over the South China Sea and a US defence treaty are among the reasons its overtures have been ignored.

Why don’t Manila and Beijing have closer military ties, despite Duterte’s ‘pivot to China’?
Philippine minister takes to Twitter to order diplomatic protest over Chinese ships

‘Do I have to fly home to file the goddamned diplomatic protest myself?’ Teodoro Locsin Jnr tells staff after Chinese vessels seen at shoal guarded by Filipino soldiers in the South China Sea.

10 minutes ago

‘Do I have to fly home to file the goddamned diplomatic protest myself?’ Teodoro Locsin Jnr tells staff after Chinese vessels seen at shoal guarded by Filipino soldiers in the South China Sea.

Philippine minister takes to Twitter to order diplomatic protest over Chinese ships
Bidding for China-funded railway in Philippines to start soon under Duterte’s infrastructure build-up

Chinese companies will soon be able to bid for the 71km Subic-Clark Railway Project, under President Rodrigo Duterte’s “Build, build, build” infrastructure initiative.

8 minutes ago

Chinese companies will soon be able to bid for the 71km Subic-Clark Railway Project, under President Rodrigo Duterte’s “Build, build, build” infrastructure initiative.

Bidding for China-funded railway in Philippines to start soon under Duterte’s infrastructure build-up
Philippine Marines conduct ‘historic’ training using new assault vehicles to reclaim an island

The exercise was not directed at China despite being staged on a beach facing the South China Sea, where Beijing has built several military installations on artificial islands.

22 Sep 2019 - 7:01PM

The exercise was not directed at China despite being staged on a beach facing the South China Sea, where Beijing has built several military installations on artificial islands.

Philippine Marines conduct ‘historic’ training using new assault vehicles to reclaim an island
How rogue officers in the Philippines contract themselves out to Chinese loan sharks for kidnappings

Chinese loan sharks have found a talented pool of Filipinos, including police officers, who provide services such as snatching victims and guarding them until ransom is paid.

7 minutes ago

Chinese loan sharks have found a talented pool of Filipinos, including police officers, who provide services such as snatching victims and guarding them until ransom is paid.

How rogue officers in the Philippines contract themselves out to Chinese loan sharks for kidnappings
From Philippine jails, Chinese drug lords are directing illegal trade: ex-police general

Benjamin Magalong’s other revelations on police corruption include ‘recycling’ crystal meth seized in raids and ransoming off newly arrested Chinese drug kingpins.

6 minutes ago

Benjamin Magalong’s other revelations on police corruption include ‘recycling’ crystal meth seized in raids and ransoming off newly arrested Chinese drug kingpins.

From Philippine jails, Chinese drug lords are directing illegal trade: ex-police general
China-backed telecoms firm Dito Telecommunity’s deal with Philippine military sparks bugging fears

Dito Telecommunity Corporation has signed an agreement with the Philippine armed forces to build mobile phone towers inside military facilities, although the country’s defence secretary says he knew nothing about it.

2 minutes ago

Dito Telecommunity Corporation has signed an agreement with the Philippine armed forces to build mobile phone towers inside military facilities, although the country’s defence secretary says he knew nothing about it.

China-backed telecoms firm Dito Telecommunity’s deal with Philippine military sparks bugging fears
Duterte exonerates fired prisons chief, as Senate hearing into release of drug offenders continues

Despite firing prisons bureau chief Nicanor Faeldon last week, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says his close ally is an ‘upright man’.

13 Sep 2019 - 11:38PM

Despite firing prisons bureau chief Nicanor Faeldon last week, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says his close ally is an ‘upright man’.

Duterte exonerates fired prisons chief, as Senate hearing into release of drug offenders continues
Two Chinese tourists kidnapped in Philippines after losing US$140,000 at Okada casino

Rash of casino-related abductions sees Chinese pair and two Filipinos held hostage but eventually rescued by country’s dedicated anti-kidnapping police.

13 Sep 2019 - 8:51AM

Rash of casino-related abductions sees Chinese pair and two Filipinos held hostage but eventually rescued by country’s dedicated anti-kidnapping police.

Two Chinese tourists kidnapped in Philippines after losing US$140,000 at Okada casino
Duterte’s South China Sea U-turn: illegal climbdown, or clever gambit for oil?

The Philippine leader says he will ignore an international court’s ruling and plough ahead with joint oil and gas exploration with Beijing. Experts say he’s either breached the constitution, or made a very smart move.

12 Sep 2019 - 11:56AM

The Philippine leader says he will ignore an international court’s ruling and plough ahead with joint oil and gas exploration with Beijing. Experts say he’s either breached the constitution, or made a very smart move.

Duterte’s South China Sea U-turn: illegal climbdown, or clever gambit for oil?
Rodrigo Duterte finally fires favourite official Nicanor Faeldon after release of drug offenders

Nicanor Faeldon, director of the Bureau of Corrections, had attracted controversy by releasing 816 convicts in a nine-month span.

5 Sep 2019 - 11:18AM

Nicanor Faeldon, director of the Bureau of Corrections, had attracted controversy by releasing 816 convicts in a nine-month span.

Rodrigo Duterte finally fires favourite official Nicanor Faeldon after release of drug offenders
Police from Philippines, China plan collaboration to foil casino-related kidnappings in Manila

Philippine police will be sent to Beijing to take an anti-kidnapping course, while China wants to send police to Manila, where there has been a rash of cases of Chinese nationals abducting compatriots.

29 Aug 2019 - 7:37PM

Philippine police will be sent to Beijing to take an anti-kidnapping course, while China wants to send police to Manila, where there has been a rash of cases of Chinese nationals abducting compatriots.

Police from Philippines, China plan collaboration to foil casino-related kidnappings in Manila
Philippine ex-police chief cites China threat to justify compulsory youth military training

Senator Ronald dela Rosa, who presided over President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, insisted the ROTC scheme was needed in case ‘ China attacks us’.

26 Aug 2019 - 10:36PM

Senator Ronald dela Rosa, who presided over President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, insisted the ROTC scheme was needed in case ‘ China attacks us’.

Philippine ex-police chief cites China threat to justify compulsory youth military training
Duterte’s ex-top diplomat who smoothed over Philippine-China ties arrested for bank fraud

Perfecto Yasay Jnr, a long-time ‘loyal friend’ to President Rodrigo Duterte, was Philippine foreign secretary for eight months and helped smooth ties between Manila and Beijing in 2016.

23 Aug 2019 - 10:44PM

Perfecto Yasay Jnr, a long-time ‘loyal friend’ to President Rodrigo Duterte, was Philippine foreign secretary for eight months and helped smooth ties between Manila and Beijing in 2016.

Duterte’s ex-top diplomat who smoothed over Philippine-China ties arrested for bank fraud
Rodrigo Duterte hints he will cancel talks with Xi Jinping if barred from raising South China Sea ruling

Philippine president says he will discuss 2016 tribunal victory in South China Sea dispute during coming visit ‘whether you like it or not’.

22 Aug 2019 - 11:21AM

Philippine president says he will discuss 2016 tribunal victory in South China Sea dispute during coming visit ‘whether you like it or not’.

Rodrigo Duterte hints he will cancel talks with Xi Jinping if barred from raising South China Sea ruling
Philippine police save kidnapped Chinese man in 53rd case of casino-related abductions

Bian Xiaoguo’s father was sent a video of his son being tortured and asked for a ransom of US$42,500. The rash of kidnappings come as Chinese nationals flock to the Philippines to work in casinos or offshore gaming operators.

21 Aug 2019 - 12:26PM

Bian Xiaoguo’s father was sent a video of his son being tortured and asked for a ransom of US$42,500. The rash of kidnappings come as Chinese nationals flock to the Philippines to work in casinos or offshore gaming operators.

Philippine police save kidnapped Chinese man in 53rd case of casino-related abductions
Solution to Manila’s ‘monster’ traffic jams? 24-hour schools and banks, Duterte’s spokesman says

President Rodrigo Duterte is under pressure to make good on an election promise to cut congestion, but poor public transport, politics and traffic experiments that favour the rich have made the task a tall order.

20 Aug 2019 - 9:10AM

President Rodrigo Duterte is under pressure to make good on an election promise to cut congestion, but poor public transport, politics and traffic experiments that favour the rich have made the task a tall order.

Solution to Manila’s ‘monster’ traffic jams? 24-hour schools and banks, Duterte’s spokesman says