Philippines election: Maverick Rodrigo Duterte wins presidency


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.

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.

Duterte to amend Constitution for foreign ownership expansion

By M Frialde

MANILA, Philippines - Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte says he is willing to amend the 1987 Constitution to allow foreign-owned businesses to flourish in the country.

Speaking at the sidelights to reporters after attending the Wallace Business Forum with businessmen in Makati City on Wednesday night, Duterte said he is comfortable with a 70 to 30 percent arrangement in favor of foreign businessmen.

Under the protectionist clause of the Constitution (Article XII), foreign ownership of property is restricted to a 40 percent baseline share.

“I can be comfortable with 70 to 30 percent [in favor of foreign ownership]. I would go as far as 70 (percent). The Filipinos do not have money that is the problem,” Duterte said.

Duterte added that he is also willing to lease lands to foreigners for manufacturing and agricultural ventures. He however stressed that no lands would be sold to foreigners.

“Maybe for manufacturing, I can lease the land, even for agricultural venture. I am not comfortable about selling land even for manufacturing ventures and even agriculture large tracts of lands,” he said.

Duterte said foreign businessmen would be allowed to lease land in the Philippines for 40 years that could be renewed for another 40 years.

“I can give you a lease for 40 years, renewable for 40 years. That’s a lifetime. But if you leave the country, automatic yun na you cannot pass it on to another corporation,” he said.

Meanwhile, Duterte said he is also proposing that the term of the president be extended to another six years or for two terms. He said that the present six-year-term of the president is not enough to implement all the plans on the drawing board.

“It is better that we go back to the two terms. Six years is too short. Maybe I can just clean the esteros. ‘Tong six years hindi maganda, kahit sa mga city mayors and the local government officials. I would propose that we go back to the two terms for president,” he said

Controversial mayor Rodrigo Duterte wins Philippine presidential election following incendiary campaign

By A Harvey

Anti-establishment firebrand Rodrigo Duterte has claimed a huge win in the Philippine presidential elections after an incendiary campaign dominated by his profanity-laced vows to kill criminals.

Mr 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, Mr 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 nearly 90 per cent of the vote counted early on Tuesday morning, Mr Duterte had an insurmountable lead of 5.92 million votes over his nearest rival, administration candidate Mar Roxas.

"It's with humility, extreme humility, that I accept this, the mandate of the people," Mr Duterte said 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."

Mr Duterte had 38.65 per cent of the vote, with Mr Roxas on 23.16 per cent, according to PPCRV.

Mr Roxas wished the new president success as he conceded on Tuesday after an unofficial tally showed him trailing by over 6 million votes.

Senator Grace Poe, the adopted daughter of movie stars, had already conceded just after midnight in third spot with 21.71 per cent.

"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," Ms 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.

Mr Duterte, a pugnacious 71-year-old, surged from outsider to the top of surveys with cuss-filled vows to kill tens of thousands of criminals, threats to establish one-man rule if politicians disobeyed him and promises to embrace communist rebels.

He also boasted repeatedly about his Viagra-fuelled affairs, while promising voters his mistresses would not cost a lot because he kept them in cheap boarding houses and took them to short-stay hotels for sex.

Departing President Benigno Aquino, whose mother led the democracy movement that ousted Ferdinand Marcos three decades ago, had warned repeatedly the nation was at risk of succumbing to another dictatorship.

"I need your help to stop the return of terror in our land. I cannot do it alone," Mr Aquino said in an appeal to voters in a final rally on Saturday in Manila for Mr Roxas, his preferred successor and fellow Liberal Party stalwart.

In his final rally on Saturday, Mr Duterte repeated to tens of thousands of cheering fans his plans to end crime within six months of starting his presidency.

"Forget the laws on human rights," said Mr Duterte, who has been accused of running vigilante death squads in Davao.

"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."



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