Rodrigo Duterte, the mayor of the southern city of Davao for 22 years, will be the Philippines’ new president.
Poll monitors are currently saying that Duterte has more than 14.8 million votes, which is about 39 per cent of the country’s total. More than 90 percent of ballots have been counted so far.
Coming in second and third place are Manuel “Mar” Roxas (over 9 million votes) II and Senator Grace Poe (with over 9 million votes), both of whom have already conceded from the presidential race.
Duterte, a lawyer, is known as “The Punisher,” is a self-proclaimed womanizer and is proud of butchering criminals. He has also uttered many controversial statements about human rights.
In one of this final campaigns in the Philippine capital of Manila, he expressed what he has been telling the Filipino people since the campaign started: “Forget the laws on 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 I’d kill you.”
“I’ll dump all of you into Manila Bay, and fatten all the fish there,” he added.
In one campaign, he joked that an Australian missionary who was raped and murdered was “beautiful.”
“They raped all of the women… There was this Australian lay minister… when they took them out… I saw her face and I thought, ‘Son of a bitch. What a pity… they raped her, they all lined up. I was mad she was raped but she was so beautiful. I thought, the mayor should have been first.”
A Human Rights Watch report details how Duterte admitted his direct links to the Davao Death Squad, a group in Davao City that is allegedly responsible for the executions of suspected petty criminals and drug dealers. Between 1998 and 2008, at least 1,020 people have reportedly been killed.
Before election day in the Philippines, John Oliver on The Daily Show talked about Duterte in one of his segments, calling him “a colorful character, to say the least,” and “the Trump of the East.”
“Now, Duterte has also suggested if elected he would kill five criminals every week, which may not be an idle promise. Since he’s been mayor, extrajudicial death squads have reportedly killed over 1000 people, and while he denies any involvement in that he does admit he’s got blood on his hands.”
Meanwhile, the vice presidential race remains a close fight between Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, the son of dictator Ferdinand Marcos; and Leni Robredo, a congresswoman and human rights lawyer.