As predicted by polls, controversial candidate Rodrigo Duterte, Phillipino doppelganger for Donald Trump, set to become next president of Phillipine
Rodrigo Duterte, The Philipiino doppelganger for Donald Trump, has cursed the Pope, ‘joked’ about the rape of an Australian missionary, been accused of involvement in extrajudicial killings while mayor of Davao City. Despite the headlines, the major presidential polls show that around one in three Filipino voters want him as president, making him a clear favorite at 33%.
Battled cancer and very poor showing at the polls
Dubbed “Duterte Harry” and “the Punisher” by the local press for his exploits, Duterte is a colorful and controversial figure known for his inflammatory comments on a gang rape, his sexual conquests and tough stance on crime.
In Davao City, where Duterte has held office for decades, he has long been dogged by allegations of ties to death squads and extrajudicial killings.
He has vowed to execute 100,000 criminals and dump them into Manila Bay. He’s also suggested that he has killed people before.
In April, a YouTube video surfaced appearing to show him joking about the 1989 rape and murder of an Australian missionary in Davao City. He later described it as “gutter language” but refused to apologize.
In his last campaign stump Saturday, Duterte played his role to the hilt and again vowed to butcher criminals as he told thousands in central Manila: “Forget the laws of human rights.”
“If I make it to the presidential palace, I will do just what I did as mayor. You drug pushers, hold-up men and do-nothings, you better go out. Because as the mayor, I’d kill you,” Duterte said to wild cheers from supporters.
He’s threatened to bypass or even shutter Congress, leading to outgoing President Benigno Aquino calling for all the candidates to unite against Duterte, warning of uncertainty and the “specter of dictatorship” if he won.
Phillipinos at the polling stations
Duterte has also promised to jail the corrupt, along with rogue members of the police and the military.
The Philippine economy has steadily grown since the early 2000s, earning credit ratings upgrades, with spending power fueled by money sent home by an army of overseas workers.
On the political and diplomatic front, the government has been feted for standing up to China over a row in the South China Sea.
Ramon Casiple, a political analyst and head of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform, said Duterte is “a protest vote.”
“He is a symbol for the people. Nothing happened for many people in the past six years, and he has capitalized on his image as the folk hero here,” Casiple said.
Allegations of cheating were rampant around Manila and its southern suburbs.
One woman voter, who declined to be identified, said people representing themselves as allied to a certain politician offered her up to 3,000 pesos ($64) for a vote.
“I declined politely but I know of some who took the money. They were supposed to report back (to the people who offered the bribe) to collect the money,” the woman said.
Scattered incidents of election-related violence caused five deaths in the southern province of Maguindanao, the Army’s Sixth Infantry Division told the country’s state-run Philippine News Agency.
Capt. Jo-Anne Petinglay said the polling remained generally peaceful and civilian casualties were low compared with past elections in the province.