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Maverick anti-crime candidate Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte has won the Philippine presidential elections, following the withdrawal of his opponents. Although the official result has not yet been declared, main rival Mar Roxas admitted defeat after polls gave Mr Duterte an unassailable lead. Mr Duterte said he accepted the mandate with “extreme humility”. The 71-year-old stirred controversy during campaigning with his incendiary comments. He has credited his success to his tough stance on law and order. His record as the crime-crushing mayor of the southern town of Davao, once notorious for its lawlessness, earned him the moniker The Punisher and resonated with voters. Other driving issues of the election campaign were pervasive corruption, as well as the poverty and inequality experienced by many Filipinos despite economic growth under outgoing President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino. What next for Duterte: Analysis by Jonathan Head, BBC News, Manila Rodrigo Duterte, a man dubbed by his rivals as an executioner who would bring terror to the Philippines, has won the presidency by a clear margin, polling nearly twice as many votes as his nearest rivals. But what is less clear is what he will do with the job. His blunt promise to sweep away criminals and corrupt officials won him the backing of millions of Filipinos weary of ineffective governments. But he has so far offered few policy details. A spokesman has already pledged a radical overhaul of the political system. Human rights groups have warned he may repeat what happened in the southern city of Davao, where as mayor he is accused of allowing death squads to murder hundreds of alleged criminals. Mr Duterte has a formidable task in a country still hampered by poverty and poor infrastructure – just meeting the lofty expectations he raised during his campaign will be hard enough. Election officials have said there was a record turnout at polling stations, with more than 81% of the 54 million registered voters casting a ballot. Senators and about 18,000 local officials including mayors are also being elected. The PPCRV (Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting) poll monitor said that with 90% of the presidential ballots counted, Mr Duterte had more than 14.8m votes – about 39%. The PPCRV is accredited by the election commission to monitor counting but its reporting does not represent an official tally. Mr Roxas, a former interior minister and Mr Duterte’s closest rival, had 8.6 million votes. As the extent of his lead became clear, Mr Duterte told AFP news agency: “It’s with humility, extreme humility, that I accept this, the mandate of the people.” Mr Roxas accepted his rival’s win. “There are many tears in the room. Let me tell you this is not a time for tears. For our country, we have had a peaceful, successful transfer of power.” Another key rival, Senator Grace Poe, was the first to concede defeat, promising to “co-operate with the healing process” after a turbulent campaign. In the election to be vice-president, Leni Robredo, a social activist, is currently slightly ahead of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, the son of a former dictator Ferdinand Marcos. The appeal of Duterte: Analysis by Karishma Vaswani, Asia business correspondent The statistics are stark, and bleak. Experts say anywhere between 40% and 80% of Philippine legislators are connected to political dynasties with vested interests. A handful of the families control almost all of the country’s wealth. And perhaps the bleakest statistic of all: 25% of the population lives under the poverty line – a figure that has not changed much in two decades. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise then that Filipinos have chosen Mr Duterte’s crime-busting, tough-talking, action-oriented ways over the current administration’s candidate Manuel Roxas. Mr Aquino is standing down as the constitution limits presidents to one six-year term. As Mr Duterte rose in opinion polls ahead of voting, Mr Aquino had tried to unite other candidates against him, warning his election could mean a return to dictatorship for the Philippines. Mr Duterte has made many controversial statements during his campaign, saying that he would massacre criminals and drug-users, joking about the rape of an Australian missionary and saying he would dissolve congress if it didn’t agree with him. He has also given forthright opinions on the Philippines’ territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea, saying he would sail to disputed islands and plant the Philippine flag there. The Philippines has taken one of its claims to a court of arbitration at the Hague. On Monday, he said he would seek multilateral talks over the issue, to include the US and Japan. Duterte: From ‘Punisher’ to president Born in 1945 into a political family but with a more modest background than many Philippine politicians. Married twice but now single, he says he has several girlfriends. A lawyer, he became vice-mayor of Davao in 1986 and mayor in 1988. He has also previously held a seat in congress. Built a reputation fighting crime, militancy and corruption. He has promised to continue his tough stance as president, but has offered few specific policies. Well known for incendiary comments, such as saying he would kill thousands of criminals without trial.

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Maverick Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte appealed to voters Saturday to elect him president, with cuss-filled vows to die for his countrymen and kill anyone who would cause them suffering. The 71-year-old frontrunner told a crowd of at least 350,000 cheering supporters in downtown Manila that he would stop the decades-old scourges of crime and corruption. Duterte said he would be a “socialist” leader. He also said he would not declare martial law but would “protect” the government if it was threatened. In a speech at the end of a seven-hour rally, Duterte said he was told to stand on a specific portion of the stage to avoid sniper fire. “Sa mga sniper nyo, go ahead. I will die for the Filipino,” Duterte said to loud cheers at his final campaign rally before Monday’s vote. “Pag ako nanalo, papatayin ko kayo. Talagang yayariin ko kayo sa pagpahirap nyo sa Pilipino. Galit ako sa inyo,” he said. MEETING SATAN  Duterte said he was not afraid to go to hell because it will be filled with beautiful women. “Bakit ako matatakot sa Satanas na yan? Satanas ‘wag mo akong takot-takotin,” he said. The mayor said he would replicate a ruthless anti-crime campaign in Davao City that, he said, helped the city become an economic hub in the main southern island of Mindanao. “Holdupper, you better go out kasi pag andito ka, ako mayor ako, papatayin kita,” he said. “Kalimutan muna batas sa human rights, kalimutan mo muna regulasyon ng tao,” he said. PUNCHING BAGS Duterte ridiculed administration candidate Mar Roxas as the “weakest link” in the current government and made fun of the former interior minister’s credentials as having come from “Watsons,” instead of Wharton, a US business school. “Kumbaga kadena diyan, chain, yung isa plastic yun si Roxas,” he said, citing among others, the daily breakdowns of the MRT-3 train. Duterte chided Vice President Jejomar Binay for failing to respond to corruption allegations. Imitating Binay’s manner of speaking, he joked to the crowd: “Makati ang mga kamay namin sa Makati kaya naubos ang pera.” “It leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Ano tingin mo sa asawa niya may kaso, ang anak niya may kaso. Ano ang Malacanang? Presohan?” ANGRY, RAUNCHY RALLY  The mood swung from angry to festive to raunchy as an unlikely mix of politicians and entertainers took turns on the makeshift stage. The sexy group Mocha Girls gyrated to a slow, dark beat as they urged the crowd to vote for the tough-talking mayor. Singer Gail Blanco’s soprano performance of the patriotic song “Ako ay Pilipino” followed. Giant pick-up trucks and sports utility vehicles plastered with posters of the mayor surrounded a makeshift stage in Luneta, right in front of Quirino Grandstand, where the country’s past presidents were sworn into office. A long row of motorcycles doubled as a security cordon to keep supporters in red shirts in their designated areas. Vendors hawked baller bracelets and shirts as the mayor’s fans crowded beside his cardboard standee to take selfies. SUPPORTERS’ HOPES Tens of thousands stood under the scorching sun to await Duterte’s arrival, including 43-year-old Christian pastor Jennifer Cobarrubias “I want to live in a safe country, that’s why I’m voting for him,” she told ABS-CBN News. Cobarrubias said she would vote for Duterte on Monday despite his vow to kill all criminals. “Our God is a God who loves everyone and hates sin. Duterte hates sin, not the sinner,” she said. The mother of two said she lost her wallet to petty thieves while commuting in Quezon City last year. She said her staff had also been mugged on a bus. “Only Duterte has the guts, the political will to get things done,” said Cobarrubias’ 51-year-old businessman husband, Jimmy. The couple came to the rally in matching red shirts. Duterte was poised to be to be the first president from the main southern island of Mindanao, which is mired in poverty from decades of conflict. “Life is very hard. We are counting on him to help us,” 40-year-old pirated DVD salesman Sowaiv Samporna told ABS-CBN News. Samporna and his wife fled fighting in their home province of Lanao del Norte more than a decade ago and settled in a Manila slum to raise five children. “I hope he can help me find a new job,” Samporna said, adding he feared Duterte might shut down pirated software stalls in Quiapo district. (c) http://news.abs-cbn.com/

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The Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) is set to officially endorse Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte for president and Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr for vice president in the 2016 national elections. A Rappler source said that the INC leadership is expected to announce its anointed candidates at their worship service on Wednesday night, May 4, along with the usual stern reminder to stick to these choices when they cast their vote on Monday, May 9. Active members had started to post Wednesday night who their candidates for the presidential elections would be. The “katiwalas” or those assigned to distribute sample ballots to Iglesia members had started to do the rounds. The tandem are in a sample ballot obtained by Rappler on Wednesday, May 4. Duterte and Marcos, as well as administration vice presidential bet candidate Leni Robredo, are leading in the presidential and vice presidential races, respectively, based on the latest ABS-CBN survey released Wednesday morning. Two days earlier, the INC disowned a letter supposedly from INC leader Eduardo Manalo telling members to support Duterte’s presidency. The INC leadership said it would file a case against the person behind the fake letter. (READ: INC official: Duterte endorsement letter ‘fraudulent’) Recently, the INC also fended off rumors that it was endorsing the vice presidential bid of Marcos. President Benigno Aquino III went to the Iglesia’s Central Office in Quezon City Monday morning, May 2, to meet with Manalo and make some “political appeals”. “I asked for the meeting. I thanked him for the support he and his brethren have extended to us. I enumerated the gains under ‘Daang Matuwid.’ Lastly I expressed the hope that these gains will not only be continued but built upon in the future,” Aquino said. Earlier in February, results of The Standard Poll done by Laylo Research Strategies, showed that Poe was the INC members’ most preferred presidential bet. The church typically announces its choices on a day very close to elections. (C) Rappler

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