In the presidential elections on May 10, 2004, which was accompanied by violent clashes and irregularities, Macapagal-Arroyo was just able to prevail against the actor Fernando Poe Jr. (* 1939, † 2004) ; it was not until June 22, 2004 that the Supreme Court confirmed the incumbent’s election victory. In July 2004 Macapagal-Arroyo announced an agenda of economic and social reform; It tried to counter the high budget deficit through a tax reform. The one against Macapagal-Arroyo alleged allegations of manipulation of the presidential elections and the involvement of members of her family in a bribe affair sparked a domestic political crisis in June 2005 (part of the government resigned in July 2005). An impeachment proceedings initiated by the opposition against Macapagal-Arroyo failed on September 6, 2005 in parliament. The president remained under political pressure even afterwards (in October 2005 renewed demands by the opposition for the resignation of the president and new elections). After an alleged coup attempt, Macapagal-Arroyo imposed from 24th February to 3rd March 2006 the state of emergency. In the parliamentary elections on May 14, 2007, which was overshadowed by violence, the governing coalition was able to maintain its majority in the House of Representatives, while the opposition parties gained a majority in the Senate. Former President Estrada was sentenced to life imprisonment and a heavy fine in September 2007 for corruption and embezzlement. But already at the end of October 2007 he was presided over by Macapagal-Arroyo pardoned. In early August 2008, fighting between Muslim rebels and government forces escalated after the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional an agreement signed the month before, in which the government granted the MILF an enlarged area for the proposed Muslim autonomous region on the southern island of Mindanao. The government then terminated the agreement. Almost 160,000 people fled the particularly hard hit province of Cotabatu. In June 2009, Moro rebels attacked power plants in Mindanao. Three International Red Cross employees kidnapped on January 15, 2009 by the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf on Jolo were released in April and July 2009 respectively. At the end of September 2009, two US soldiers were killed in a bomb attack on Jolo. After a massacre in November 2009 that left 57 people dead, the government declared a state of emergency in Maguindanao province. The decades-long disputes over the territorial claims of China, Vietnam, the Philippines and other states on the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea flared up again in March 2009. The Philippine parliament announced by law the expansion of the territorial waters from 200 to 350 nautical miles.
On May 10, 2010, parliamentary, presidential and regional elections were held at the same time. Candidates for the office of president include also the 2001 deposed President J. E. Estrada. According to the constitution, President Macapagal-Arroyo was not allowed to run again. With an outstanding election result, B. Aquino (LP), the son of the politician Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, who was murdered in 1983, and the former president C. Aquino, won the election. He received 42.1% of the vote, J. E. Estrada had 26.2%; on June 30, 2010 Aquino was sworn in. Former President Macapagal-Arroyo’s party, the Lakas-Kampi-CMD, remained the strongest force in the House of Representatives, despite major losses, winning 106 of the directly awarded mandates. According to Philosophynearby, the Philippines repeatedly accused China in 2011 of invading Philippine waters in the South China Sea. China, on the other hand, declared that the affected region belonged to its own waters. In the autumn of the same year, fierce fighting broke out between Muslim rebels and government troops in the south of the country. 20,000 people on the southern islands of Mindanao and Jolo were on the run before the riots. In October 2012, the Philippine government reached an agreement with the MILF on a framework agreement aimed at achieving a lasting peace solution. Finally, on March 27, 2014, a peace agreement was signed in Manila. A court of arbitration in The Hague, which was rejected by China. In the House of Representatives elections on May 13, 2013, the Liberal Party (LP) received the most seats. In April 2014, an agreement was reached with the USA to expand strategic security cooperation. President Aquino visited the Federal Republic of Germany in September 2014 as the first Philippine head of state in 20 years. The APEC summit in Manila in November 2015 served to improve political and economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. Inside, the threat from Islamist terrorism remained, v. a. by the Abu Sayyaf group, virulent.
Parliamentary and presidential elections were held on May 9, 2016. The Liberal Party (LP) was able to win 115 of the directly awarded mandates in the House of Representatives (2011: 111). As in 2011, the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) had 42 mandates. The presidential election was won by R. Duterte (PDP-LABAN), the long-time mayor of Davao, with around 39% of the vote, ahead of Manuel Roxas (* 1957), candidate of the LP and grandson of the former President M. Roxas, on around 23.5% of the vote was cast. The human rights lawyer Leni Robredo (LP; * 1964) was elected Vice President with 35.1%. Duterte took office as President on June 30, 2016. On July 12, 2016, the court of arbitration in The Hague declared China’s claims in the South China Sea to be unlawful. Nevertheless, Duterte initially relied on rapprochement with the People’s Republic in terms of foreign policy and thus irritated the USA. In his first speech in parliament at the end of July 2016, Duterte announced a ceasefire in the clashes with the communist rebels who have been fighting the government for decades, as well as rigorous crackdown on drug traffickers and other criminals as well as corruption. By the beginning of 2017, over 6,000 people had been subjected to the Duterte by the police, death squads or through lynching without due process the citizens had publicly urged to be killed. In a foreign policy U-turn in April 2017, Duterte ordered the occupation of uninhabited islands and reefs in the South China Sea, underscoring the Filipino claims in the disputed sea area. After fighting with extremist Muslim rebels in the city of Marawi, Duterte declared the Mindanao region to be martial law on May 23, 2017. Tens of thousands fled the embattled city.