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.
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

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.

11 Oct 2019 - 10:39PM

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

8 Oct 2019 - 10:39PM

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.

5 Oct 2019 - 12:37PM

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.

3 Oct 2019 - 10:26AM

‘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.

24 Sep 2019 - 10:52PM

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.

22 Sep 2019 - 10:31PM

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.

20 Sep 2019 - 12:33AM

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.

18 Sep 2019 - 12:14PM

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
When Xi meets Duterte: is the China-Philippines honeymoon over?

The Philippine president has gone out of his way to improve relations with Beijing but tensions in the South China Sea seem likely to cast a long shadow over his upcoming visit.

13 Aug 2019 - 10:53AM

The Philippine president has gone out of his way to improve relations with Beijing but tensions in the South China Sea seem likely to cast a long shadow over his upcoming visit.

When Xi meets Duterte: is the China-Philippines honeymoon over?
Duterte administration reels as Beijing slams Manila for undermining its cross-border gambling crackdown

China says its nationals are being targeted by gambling firms, resulting in hundreds of millions of yuan illegally flowing into the Philippines, and its citizens are being subjected to ‘modern slavery’ in the Southeast Asian nation.

8 Aug 2019 - 10:16PM

China says its nationals are being targeted by gambling firms, resulting in hundreds of millions of yuan illegally flowing into the Philippines, and its citizens are being subjected to ‘modern slavery’ in the Southeast Asian nation.

Duterte administration reels as Beijing slams Manila for undermining its cross-border gambling crackdown
Duterte Youth politician with links to US white supremacists blocked from Philippine congress ... because he’s not young enough

Ronald Cardema tried to claim a seat in the House of Representatives as the nominee of a party representing the president’s young supporters, but at 34 years old, he wasn’t legally a youth.

6 Aug 2019 - 8:50PM

Ronald Cardema tried to claim a seat in the House of Representatives as the nominee of a party representing the president’s young supporters, but at 34 years old, he wasn’t legally a youth.

Duterte Youth politician with links to US white supremacists blocked from Philippine congress ... because he’s not young enough
Duterte says he allows Chinese vessels to fish in Philippine waters to prevent war

Manila ‘owns the West Philippine Sea but China controls it’, the president said in his State of the Nation address, which also saw him ask Congress to reimpose the death penalty for drug-related crimes.

23 Jul 2019 - 10:22AM

Manila ‘owns the West Philippine Sea but China controls it’, the president said in his State of the Nation address, which also saw him ask Congress to reimpose the death penalty for drug-related crimes.

Duterte says he allows Chinese vessels to fish in Philippine waters to prevent war
Anti-China protests in the Philippines mark third anniversary of Manila’s South China Sea legal victory

Protesters staged a rally in front of the Chinese consulate, while a survey found most Filipinos want the country to take back China-controlled islands in the disputed waterway.

13 Jul 2019 - 5:08PM

Protesters staged a rally in front of the Chinese consulate, while a survey found most Filipinos want the country to take back China-controlled islands in the disputed waterway.

Anti-China protests in the Philippines mark third anniversary of Manila’s South China Sea legal victory
Chinese vessel mainly to blame for sinking of Philippine boat in South China Sea, but Filipino crew had ‘deficiencies’: leaked report

The Philippine ship did not have a proper lookout and had too many crew aboard, according to the report.

9 Jul 2019 - 12:33PM

The Philippine ship did not have a proper lookout and had too many crew aboard, according to the report.

Chinese vessel mainly to blame for sinking of Philippine boat in South China Sea, but Filipino crew had ‘deficiencies’: leaked report
Will Duterte be impeached? Not likely, but the Philippines has a rich history of trying to topple presidents

Impeachment threats recently surfaced after Duterte said he would allow Chinese fishermen to fish within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

2 Jul 2019 - 10:07PM

Impeachment threats recently surfaced after Duterte said he would allow Chinese fishermen to fish within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

Will Duterte be impeached? Not likely, but the Philippines has a rich history of trying to topple presidents
Rodrigo Duterte wants a joint Manila-Beijing probe into the South China Sea sinking. Could it be a good idea?

The Philippine president has been criticised for being too soft on China in his response to the sinking, but experts say working together could stop the investigation from turning into a squabble over jurisdiction in the waterway.

26 Jun 2019 - 11:11AM

The Philippine president has been criticised for being too soft on China in his response to the sinking, but experts say working together could stop the investigation from turning into a squabble over jurisdiction in the waterway.

Rodrigo Duterte wants a joint Manila-Beijing probe into the South China Sea sinking. Could it be a good idea?
Philippines’ sinking row: former president Benigno Aquino says Chinese vessel abandoned stranded fishermen

The captain of the Chinese vessel was ‘duty bound legally and morally’ to stop and check whether the other boat’s occupants were OK, Benigno Aquino said.

22 Jun 2019 - 9:42AM

The captain of the Chinese vessel was ‘duty bound legally and morally’ to stop and check whether the other boat’s occupants were OK, Benigno Aquino said.

Philippines’ sinking row: former president Benigno Aquino says Chinese vessel abandoned stranded fishermen
Philippine election: ‘Duterte’s magic routed opposition’

A strong showing by the president’s allies in midterm elections has paved the way for him to ‘transform the political system’. But proceedings were marred by malfunctioning vote counting machines

14 May 2019 - 11:05PM

A strong showing by the president’s allies in midterm elections has paved the way for him to ‘transform the political system’. But proceedings were marred by malfunctioning vote counting machines

Philippine election: ‘Duterte’s magic routed opposition’
‘I was spat on, peed on, spanked’: as Filipino workers head for Japan, words of warning

Tokyo’s new openness to foreign workers is expected to lure more than 50,000 Filipinos to the country by 2025. But would-be expats should be cautious – not only is the work hard, experts warn flawed labour policies lead to abuse.

16 May 2019 - 3:59PM

Tokyo’s new openness to foreign workers is expected to lure more than 50,000 Filipinos to the country by 2025. But would-be expats should be cautious – not only is the work hard, experts warn flawed labour policies lead to abuse.

‘I was spat on, peed on, spanked’: as Filipino workers head for Japan, words of warning