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

Philippines: ‘No vax no ride’ scheme banning unvaccinated from public transport sparks confusion

Plan, launched on Monday in Manila area, accused of being ‘draconian’; government tries to clarify new rules while mentioning ‘reason to apologise’.

Plan, launched on Monday in Manila area, accused of being ‘draconian’; government tries to clarify new rules while mentioning ‘reason to apologise’.

19 Jan 2022 - 7:34PM
Philippine election body dismisses petition to bar Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jnr from presidential election

This is the second petition against Ferdinand Marcos Jnr to be thrown out. Five more are pending – including one claiming he is an impostor and that the real Bongbong died years ago.

This is the second petition against Ferdinand Marcos Jnr to be thrown out. Five more are pending – including one claiming he is an impostor and that the real Bongbong died years ago.

17 Jan 2022 - 9:01PM
Filipinos fear Omicron will ‘paralyse’ nation as government’s focus turns to election

Just under half the country has been double-vaccinated, while the Duterte administration has ruled out another punishing lockdown ahead of polls in May.

Just under half the country has been double-vaccinated, while the Duterte administration has ruled out another punishing lockdown ahead of polls in May.

17 Jan 2022 - 8:41AM
Philippine navy seeks ‘dream fleet’ in South China Sea, buys two South Korean warships to ramp up maritime defences

The navy hopes the corvettes worth US$556 million will boost its maritime strength in the resource-rich waterways where Manila faces a dispute with Beijing.

The navy hopes the corvettes worth US$556 million will boost its maritime strength in the resource-rich waterways where Manila faces a dispute with Beijing.

29 Dec 2021 - 9:04PM
As Philippines mops up from Typhoon Rai, government response could become an election issue

Analysts say the massive damage and response of candidates could sway voters in the May 2022 presidential election.

Analysts say the massive damage and response of candidates could sway voters in the May 2022 presidential election.

21 Dec 2021 - 10:50PM
Explainer | Omicron travel restrictions: from Singapore to Japan, Australia to India, here’s what Asian countries are doing to fight the new coronavirus variant

From Singapore to Japan, Australia to India, This Week in Asia’s writers have the latest as countries across the region tighten entry requirements for travellers.

From Singapore to Japan, Australia to India, This Week in Asia’s writers have the latest as countries across the region tighten entry requirements for travellers.

2 Dec 2021 - 2:04PM
Is Philippine senator’s sudden exit from presidential race all part of ‘wily’ Duterte’s plan?

Loyal ally Christopher Go pulled out just 17 days after filing his candidacy for president, and a week after seemingly regretting his decision to contest.

Loyal ally Christopher Go pulled out just 17 days after filing his candidacy for president, and a week after seemingly regretting his decision to contest.

30 Nov 2021 - 10:08PM
Philippines says China is ‘the trespasser’ as it refuses to move ship from disputed South China Sea shoal

‘We can do whatever we want there and it is they who are actually trespassing’: Philippine defence chief.

‘We can do whatever we want there and it is they who are actually trespassing’: Philippine defence chief.

25 Nov 2021 - 10:46PM
12 years after Ampatuan massacre, Manny Pacquiao backs a clan member for Maguindanao governor

Hadji Yasser Ampatuan, who allegedly was present during the planning of the infamous killings, is to run against the very man the massacre targeted – Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu.

Hadji Yasser Ampatuan, who allegedly was present during the planning of the infamous killings, is to run against the very man the massacre targeted – Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu.

23 Nov 2021 - 7:22PM
From Singapore and Hong Kong to Malaysia, Philippines to India, how inflation and rising food costs are changing the face of hunger

In Malaysia, meat is off the menu. In India, lamp oil is used for cooking. And in the Philippines, the cost of your pizza could feed 150 people.

In Malaysia, meat is off the menu. In India, lamp oil is used for cooking. And in the Philippines, the cost of your pizza could feed 150 people.

6 Dec 2021 - 7:55AM
Seven Philippine presidential hopefuls to watch, from ‘Bongbong’ Marcos to Leni Robredo and Manny Pacquiao

Two Duterte loyalists, a former boxer, a human rights lawyer, a unionist, the son of a dictator and a former actor are vying for the top job.

Two Duterte loyalists, a former boxer, a human rights lawyer, a unionist, the son of a dictator and a former actor are vying for the top job.

20 Nov 2021 - 4:09PM
The Manchurian candidate: why China’s interest in the Philippine election is under scrutiny as Duterte prepares to leave office

In intellectual circles, the talk has turned to the possibility of a ‘Manchurian candidate’. The CIA once steered the pro-American ‘Amboy’ Ramon Magsaysay into office but Beijing’s attention on Bongbong Marcos has raised eyebrows.

In intellectual circles, the talk has turned to the possibility of a ‘Manchurian candidate’. The CIA once steered the pro-American ‘Amboy’ Ramon Magsaysay into office but Beijing’s attention on Bongbong Marcos has raised eyebrows.

20 Nov 2021 - 4:13PM
Philippine election 2022: is Duterte’s cocaine claim a sign of a deeper feud with the Marcos family?

The Philippine president claims one of the candidates to replace him is a drug user and ‘weak’ leader. Whatever can he mean?

The Philippine president claims one of the candidates to replace him is a drug user and ‘weak’ leader. Whatever can he mean?

20 Nov 2021 - 10:36PM
Philippine election 2022: Rodrigo Duterte rules out VP bid against daughter Sara, seeks Senate seat, vows not to support Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jnr

News comes amid poll that finds Ferdinand Marcos Jnr is the favourite in the 2022 presidential race, with support of nearly half of all respondents.

News comes amid poll that finds Ferdinand Marcos Jnr is the favourite in the 2022 presidential race, with support of nearly half of all respondents.

15 Nov 2021 - 11:55PM
With Duterte, daughter set to vie for the Philippines’ vice-presidency, another option emerges

President Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter Sara on Saturday entered the race to become vice-president, with her father vowing to do likewise – though some suspect both may end up in high office.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter Sara on Saturday entered the race to become vice-president, with her father vowing to do likewise – though some suspect both may end up in high office.

13 Nov 2021 - 11:19PM
‘Bongbong’ Marcos’ supporters in Macau detained, spend ‘20 hours in police station without food’

The police force is interviewing workers who were part of an unauthorised event where fliers bearing Marcos’ face and the Macau SAR symbol were handed out.

The police force is interviewing workers who were part of an unauthorised event where fliers bearing Marcos’ face and the Macau SAR symbol were handed out.

11 Nov 2021 - 8:56PM
Philippine presidential race: why Bongbong’s bid may be sunk by a law his dictator father Ferdinand Marcos Snr made in the 1970s

Ferdinand Marcos Snr used his dictatorial powers to bring in a law banning officials convicted of tax fraud from public office. Decades later, the never-before-tested law has come back to bite Marcos Jnr.

Ferdinand Marcos Snr used his dictatorial powers to bring in a law banning officials convicted of tax fraud from public office. Decades later, the never-before-tested law has come back to bite Marcos Jnr.

5 Nov 2021 - 8:58PM
Asean risks credibility if Myanmar junta chief attends summit: Philippine foreign secretary Locsin

Locsin has warned that the bloc will lose its standing as a ‘real regional organisation’ if it allows coup leader Min Aung Hlaing to join a virtual summit this month.

Locsin has warned that the bloc will lose its standing as a ‘real regional organisation’ if it allows coup leader Min Aung Hlaing to join a virtual summit this month.

15 Oct 2021 - 1:12AM
Maria Ressa’s Nobel Peace Prize win: President Duterte silent as Philippine journalists rejoice

A day after Rappler CEO and co-founder Maria Ressa won the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, there was silence from Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, his spokesman and political allies.

A day after Rappler CEO and co-founder Maria Ressa won the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, there was silence from Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, his spokesman and political allies.

9 Oct 2021 - 8:18PM
Robredo to battle Marcos for Philippine presidency, as supporters liken her to Corazon Aquino

Just 24 hours after the son of dictator Ferdinand Marcos entered the presidential race, his arch-rival Leni Robredo announces she is ready ‘to battle’.

Just 24 hours after the son of dictator Ferdinand Marcos entered the presidential race, his arch-rival Leni Robredo announces she is ready ‘to battle’.

8 Oct 2021 - 9:08AM
Philippine dictator’s son Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jnr runs for president, sparking anger from his father’s victims

This is Marcos Jnr’s first tilt at the presidency and may represent his only chance as his mother Imelda – the family’s centre of political power – is 93.

This is Marcos Jnr’s first tilt at the presidency and may represent his only chance as his mother Imelda – the family’s centre of political power – is 93.

7 Oct 2021 - 3:30PM
Duterte, Marcos, Estrada, Cayetano: Pacquiao can’t beat the Philippines’ political dynasties, but he can join them

In the Philippines’ free and open elections, it’s easy to vote a political family out of power – vote another one in. Welcome to the ‘world capital’ of political dynasties.

In the Philippines’ free and open elections, it’s easy to vote a political family out of power – vote another one in. Welcome to the ‘world capital’ of political dynasties.

3 Oct 2021 - 1:06PM
As Duterte exits Philippine election, will daughter Sara run for president?

The leader’s ‘retirement from politics’ comes at a time his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, is topping opinion polls.

The leader’s ‘retirement from politics’ comes at a time his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, is topping opinion polls.

2 Oct 2021 - 10:24PM
In the Philippines, Pacquiao files bid for presidency as spectre of violence looms over 2022 election

An analyst expects both excitement and violence from next year’s polls, with President Duterte threatening to call in the army should fighting break out.

An analyst expects both excitement and violence from next year’s polls, with President Duterte threatening to call in the army should fighting break out.

2 Oct 2021 - 8:30AM
China tried to get Philippines to drop review of US defence pact, defence chief says

Delfin Lorenzana says a former Chinese envoy to Manila in 2018 said any attempt to revise the Mutual Defence Treaty would be seen by Beijing as an attempt to contain its rise.

Delfin Lorenzana says a former Chinese envoy to Manila in 2018 said any attempt to revise the Mutual Defence Treaty would be seen by Beijing as an attempt to contain its rise.

30 Sep 2021 - 10:27PM
Philippine presidential race: Sara Duterte’s momentum builds as Bong Go declines nomination

President Rodrigo Duterte is seen to be positioning his daughter for the top job – but Manny Pacquiao is not done with fighting him.

President Rodrigo Duterte is seen to be positioning his daughter for the top job – but Manny Pacquiao is not done with fighting him.

10 Sep 2021 - 9:44PM
Philippines gave US$173 million pandemic supplies contracts to a firm owned by a fugitive from Taipei. Senator asks: ‘Didn't you google?’

An official has admitted skipping ‘due diligence’ on the firm, saying he was racing to secure supplies amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

An official has admitted skipping ‘due diligence’ on the firm, saying he was racing to secure supplies amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

2 Sep 2021 - 8:55PM
Philippines: Duterte’s U-turn on Boracay casino ban slammed by environmental activists

The president has allowed a casino on the island to generate national tax revenue, but critics say Boracay’s fragile ecosystem cannot cope with more visitors.

The president has allowed a casino on the island to generate national tax revenue, but critics say Boracay’s fragile ecosystem cannot cope with more visitors.

1 Sep 2021 - 8:10PM
South China Sea: Beijing rushing code of conduct to undermine 2016 Hague ruling, claims Philippines’ Del Rosario

The former foreign secretary and other experts allege Beijing has an ulterior motive in claiming progress in long-running talks, and say final agreement is not likely this year or next.

The former foreign secretary and other experts allege Beijing has an ulterior motive in claiming progress in long-running talks, and say final agreement is not likely this year or next.

26 Aug 2021 - 11:20PM
Were Philippine Covid-19 vaccines delayed for election purposes? Senators wonder

The country’s vaccine tsar Carlito Galvez Jnr has been forced to deny suggestions that the government wanted to time the roll-out to coincide with next year’s presidential election.

The country’s vaccine tsar Carlito Galvez Jnr has been forced to deny suggestions that the government wanted to time the roll-out to coincide with next year’s presidential election.

26 Aug 2021 - 12:44AM