Duterte in front as Philip­pines goes to the polls

Polls have tough-talk­ing mayor in lead

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE -

Mil­lions of Filipinos lined up yes­ter­day to elect a new pres­i­dent. Weary of poverty, crime, cor­rup­tion and in­sur­gen­cies, vot­ers are look­ing for a rad­i­cal change at the top.

And many hope the man to lead it is Ro­drigo Duterte, the 71-year-old mayor of the south­ern city of Davao who has held a lead over ri­vals in all opin­ion polls.

An ex-pros­e­cu­tor, Duterte pep­pered his cam­paign speeches with boasts about his Vi­a­gra-fu­elled sex­ual prow­ess and jokes about rape. But he also suc­cess­fully tapped into dis­con­tent, and vot­ers ap­pear will­ing to over­look his crude lan­guage.

“All of you who are into drugs... I will re­ally kill you,” Duterte told a huge cheer­ing crowd on Satur­day in his fi­nal cam­paign rally in Manila. “I have no pa­tience, I have no mid­dle ground, ei­ther you kill me or I will kill you id­iots.”

State­ments such as these have won him the nick­name ‘Duterte Harry’, a ref­er­ence to the Clint East­wood movie char­ac­ter Dirty Harry.

Yes­ter­day, he ar­rived at a polling cen­tre in a school in Davao where a throng of jour­nal­ists and sup­port­ers awaited.

“I am a can­di­date for the pres­i­dency and al­most all of them are my con­stituents. It is very nat­u­ral for them to grav­i­tate to­ward me,” he told re­porters be­fore en­ter­ing the polling room. Vot­ing at most of the 92,509 precincts na­tion­wide started at 6am and ended at 5pm. Vot­ing was ex­tended by an hour in precincts that had opened three or more hours late be­cause of tech­ni­cal or other prob­lems. Elec­tion re­sults are not ex­pected for at least 24 hours af­ter the elec­tion, per­haps longer. Be­sides Duterte, for­mer In­te­rior Sec­re­tary Mar Roxas and three other can­di­dates are vy­ing to lead one of Asia’s liveli­est democ­ra­cies. More than 45,000 can­di­dates are con­test­ing 18,000 na­tional, con­gres­sional and lo­cal po­si­tions.

I have no pa­tience, no mid­dle ground, ei­ther you kill me or I kill you - Ro­drigo Duterte’s mes­sage to drug gangs

POP­U­LAR: Ro­drigo Duterte look­ing con­fi­dent af­ter cast­ing his vote

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