Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Philippines' 'Trump' Appears to Win Presidential Race as Rival Concedes

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Philippines' 'Trump' Appears to Win Presidential Race as Rival Concedes

Article excerpt

MANILA, Philippines * Rodrigo Duterte, a tough-talking mayor who has drawn comparisons to U.S. Republican Donald Trump, appeared to be headed to victory in the Philippines' presidential election Monday as his chief rival conceded defeat.

Grace Poe, a senator with an inspirational life story, said she called Duterte to congratulate him, and was quoted as saying she was "giving way" to the candidate "whom the majority of our countrymen have chosen," according to local news website Rappler.

An unofficial vote count showed Duterte winning by at least 5 million votes, according to the Philippine Star newspaper. The final vote count will be announced later this week.

Supporters say Duterte, 71, has a proven track record in fighting drugs and crime, having transformed the city of Davao, which he led for 22 years, from a den of lawlessness into a rare bastion of security in a troubled region. His nickname is "the Punisher."

Yet Duterte's rise has shocked the country's political establishment, and critics have raised concern about his profane comments and alleged human rights violations. While campaigning, he joked about rape and infidelity, promised to clean up crime by killing thousands of criminals, and warned that he might declare a "revolutionary government" if he does not get his way in Congress. He has admitted to overseeing "death squads," mercenary groups that executed suspected criminals in Davao.

Millions of Filipinos turned out to elect their 16th president in one of the most closely watched and emotionally charged elections in recent memory.

Filipinos chose from a total of 44,871 candidates vying for positions from the presidency to city councilors. More than 100,000 police officers were dispatched nationwide to guard against political violence and unrest, according to local media.

Duterte went into the election with a wide lead in opinion polls. …

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