Since this question—what is the best thesis statement for a paper on political corruption in the Philippines—was originally posted and answered, much has changed in the Philippine Islands. In May 2016, the Philippine people elected a radically more authoritarian president, Rodrigo Duterte, than in the recent such elections. After decades of democracy, and it is important to note that Duterte came to power democratically, the Philippines are today governed by a president with very little regard for human rights and for the rule of law. President Duterte's anti-drug campaign has been analogous to the anti-communist wars of Central America during the 1980s. Police and death squads operate with impunity in carrying out Duterte's order to stem the nation's drug problem by killing all those associated with the trade in illegal narcotics.
What does President Duterte's lethal campaign against drug traffickers and users mean for the issue of political corruption? The Philippine president's success in carrying out such a campaign with little or no regard for the rule of law could also bode ill for those accustomed to acting corruptly in both the government and civilian realms. Duterte has already taken a harsh stance on the issue of government corruption, removing public officials from office and going so far as to threaten the lives of those deemed corrupt. As quoted in a recent article, Duterte has declared his intention to treat corrupt officials similar to how he treats drug traffickers:
"If you are corrupt, I will fetch you using a helicopter to Manila and I will throw you out. I have done this before, why would I not do it again?" Mr Duterte said during a speech to victims of a typhoon on Tuesday, a clip of which is posted on a video feed of the president's office.
With the Philippine's history of systemic political corruption, including patterns of patronage and bribery, it will be interesting to observe developments there in the years ahead. A possible thesis statement on the topic, taking into account the current government's quasi-legal approach to crime, could read something like the following: President Duterte's approach to political corruption, like his approach to drugs, undermines the rule of law in what has been a functioning democratic society.