Duterte out in front in Philippine election

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By Catherine Hardy  with Reuters
Duterte out in front in Philippine election
  • Most votes counted in Philippine election
  • Polls suggest the “Philippino Donald Trump” has a clear lead
  • Rodrigo Duterte calls for multilateral talks with China over the South China Sea

Exit polls suggest the hardline, anti-crime candidate Rodrigo Duterte will become the next president of the Philippines.

Most votes have been counted.

An offical poll monitor has given the outspoken 71-year-old an unassailable lead.

The winner is decided on a simple majority. With 90% of votes counted:

  • Duterte 14.8m (39%)
  • Roxas 9m (23%)
  • Senator Grace Poe in third place has withdrawn

(Get the latest accredited results here)

The official result has yet to be declared.

Who is Rodrigo Duterte?

  • Mayor of the southern town of Davao
  • Known as “The Punisher”
  • Born 1945
  • Trained as a lawyer

It is a big step from Mayor to president, but Duterte has shown he is ready.

His first call was for multilateral talks over the South China Sea.

“I will say to China: do not claim anything there. And I will not insist that it is ours. But then I will just keep a blind eye and if you want a joint venture to get the gas and oil, then fine.”

What was the turnout like?

Record, according to officials.

More than 81% of the 54 million people registered to vote turned out to do so.

The elections were for the president, vice-president, senators and around 18,000 local mayors.

Why is Duterte so controversial?

A hero to many, Mr Duterte is a loose cannon to some.

He has made many controversial statements during his campaign, including joking about the rape of a missionary worker from Australia.

He also said he would massacre criminals and drug users.

Duterte also warned he would dissolve Congress if it did not agree with him.