Anti-establishment firebrand Rodrigo Duterte was set to secure a huge win in Monday's Philippine presidential elections, according to a poll monitor, after an incendiary campaign dominated by his profanity-laced vows to kill criminals.
Duterte, the longtime mayor of the southern city of Davao, hypnotised millions with his vows of brutal but quick solutions to the nation’s twin plagues of crime and poverty, which many believed had worsened despite strong economic growth in recent years.
And after a record turnout of voters in Monday’s elections, Duterte scored a commanding victory, according to data released by the PPCRV, a Catholic Church-run poll monitor accredited by the government to tally the votes.
With 88 percent of the vote counted early on Tuesday morning, Duterte had an insurmountable lead of 5.84 million votes over his nearest rival, administration candidate Mar Roxas, according to the data.
“It’s with humility, extreme humility, that I accept this, the mandate of the people,” Duterte told AFP as the results came in.
“What I can promise you is that I will do my very best not just in my waking hours but even in my sleep.”
Duterte had 38.6 percent of the vote, with Roxas on 23.12 percent and Senator Grace Poe in third with 21.76 percent, according to PPCRV.
Poe, the adopted daughter of movie stars, had already conceded just after midnight on Tuesday.
“As a staunch supporter of electoral reform, I have a firm belief in the voice and sentiment of our people. I honour the result of our elections,” Poe told reporters in Manila.
“I congratulate Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and pledge my support in working to heal our land and to unite our people toward the continued development of our country.”
In the Philippines, a winner is decided simply by whomever gets the most votes.
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