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WHAT DO some bankers and fund managers, a few senior government officials, a dozen top taxpayers, and a handful of companies located in the country have in common? They are among some 200 Filipinos, Philippine residents, and corporations that own or are linked to offshore accounts in tax havens across the world, according to the “Paradise Papers” cache of 13.4 million confidential electronic documents that had been leaked and exposed this month.

POLITICAL FREEDOM and civil liberties are in a downward spiral globally. Democracy is not only in retreat, but is under assault in Southeast Asia.

WITH STILL no new government as of early May 2019, free speech in Thailand continues to be restricted by special laws imposed by the military junta, officially known as the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), which seized power from an elected civilian government in May 2014.

IT HAS just a little more than a year before its five-year term ends, but Myanmar’s ruling National League of Democracy (NLD) still has a lot of promises left unfulfilled.

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