Why does Duterte have a cameo in a Taiwanese politician’s campaign poster?

June 25, 2018 - 12:22 PM
President Rodrigo Duterte's face appeared in a campaign poster by a city councilor candidate of Hualien City, Taiwan. It recalled Taiwan and the Philippines' joint efforts in curbing illegal drugs and drug trafficking. (Facebook/Philippine Star via Nieviv Sucuaje and Isabel Sala Huang)

President Rodrigo Duterte has a cameo appearance in the campaign posters of a city councilor in Taiwan, showing how his bloody war on drugs has developed a reputation overseas.

The pictures were originally uploaded on Facebook by Nieviv Sucuaje but it caught the media’s attention and was soon shared on their respective Facebook pages. 

SPOTTED: A photo of President Rody Duterte edited side by side with a political candidate's photo in Hualien City was…

Posted by Philippine Star on Thursday, June 21, 2018


Reports note that the campaign poster was spotted in Hualien City, Taiwan, where a city councilor candidate named Chen Renzhi has an anti-drugs platform.

The slogan translates to “Value life, say no to drugs” and mirrors Duterte’s beliefs against illegal drugs.

In an interview with a news outlet, Renzhi shared that he admires the Philippine president’s stance on illegal drugs.

He said, “The anti-drug achievements of Mr. Duterte, the President of the Philippines, have been well-known in the international community.”

“These also serve as a deterrent to drug addicts and traffickers in the Philippines. I admire Mr. Duterte’s determination to curb the illegal drug menace, that’s why I opted to use his photos in my campaign,” Renzhi said.

A Taiwanese journalist named Yuhsuan Chang confirmed that Duterte is popular in the self-ruled island. “I think in Taiwan he is as popular as Trump,” he said.

Meanwhile, most Filipinos in the original shared post expressed their admiration on Duterte’s cameo, saying that they’re “proud” of the president.

Joint efforts in fighting illegal drugs

Taiwan and the Philippines have since established joint efforts in curbing illegal drugs even before Duterte’s presidency through the following:

  • The Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement between the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines (TECO) and Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) in Criminal Matters (2013);
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between TECO and MECO on Cooperation of Anti-Illegal Drugs (2007);
Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua said that Beijing will continue to support President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign against the illegal drug trade. (Presidential Photo/Simeon Celi Jr.)

In 2017, the two parties signed the MOU on Combating Transnational Crimes, further solidifying their stance against illegal drugs.

It happened after Duterte blamed the self-ruled island for allegedly supplying drugs to the Philippines in September of 2017.

In response to the accusation, Taiwan seized over 1,000 kilograms of “shabu” or methamphetamine and more than 8,000 kilograms of semi-finished drug-related products and raw materials within the Philippines.

Three “shabu” laboratories have also been discovered by their authorities, as well as one distribution station and six drug-related shipments via air cargo and sea container.

TECO said in a statement, “The market value of the above seizures is more than NT $2 billion (equivalent to about P3.2 billion).”

“The Philippine authorities have been grateful for Taiwan’s unreserved assistance and contribution in cracking down on the illegal drugs,” it said.