I highly recommend "The Arroyo Imbroglio in the Philippines," political scientist (and former teacher of mine) Paul Hutchcroft's new article in The Journal of Democracy to anyone interested in a lucid summary of a century of Philippine political history. In an impressively concise article (13 pages), Hutchcroft manages to address most of the key issues facing the Philippine political system -- corruption, fraud, violence, human rights abuses, impunity, insurgency and public disenchantment -- in a manner accessible to a non-specialist.
Although the Philippines can boast the oldest democratic structures in Asia, they are currently weak and lacking in legitimacy. Battered by scandal after scandal, these structures need careful and well-considered reform if they are to survive. read more..