Philippines

Expert Voices

Philippine midterm elections could further consolidate Duterte's power

Rodrigo Duterte speaking at a lectern
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Photo: Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images

Despite provoking international condemnation for his disdain for laws and institutions, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte seems likely to gain stronger domestic support in the May 13 midterms, when voters will elect the lower house of Congress and part of the Senate.

Why it matters: Long one of the most democratic states in Southeast Asia, the Philippines has seen under Duterte an illiberal crackdown on the press, judiciary and political opposition and an anti-drug campaign that reportedly has led to the deaths of over 12,000 people, often through extrajudicial killings.

Bones discovered in Philippines may have belonged to new human species

Photo: CESAR MANSO/Getty Images

In a report published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, scientists report that a deposit of teeth and bones, recently discovered in an island cave in the Philippines, may have belonged to a newly identified species closely related to humans and "unknown previously to science," per the Washington Post.

Details: The newly named and uncovered Homo luzonensis fossils found in the Callao Cave of Luzon Island date back to the Pleistocene epoch, between 2.6 million and 11,700 years ago. This is the fourth extinct human species discovered within the last century, showcasing that evolution was less linear than previously thought. The remains would suggest that these individuals lived during the time that Homo sapiens spread from Africa elsewhere around the world. To date, efforts to draw DNA from the remains have been unsuccessful.