Although official results of the Philippines presidential election have not been released yet, 71-year-old Rodrigo Duterte is set to win in a landslide victory, according to a poll monitor data on 10 May.
A record turnout of voters cast their votes in the 2 May election, leading to Mr Duterte, mayor of the southern city of Davao, winning by a large margin. More than 81 per cent of the 54 million registered voters casted their ballot.
This is according to poll monitor data released by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), a Catholic Church-run poll monitor accredited by the government to tally the votes.
By the morning of 10 May, 89 per cent of the vote had been counted.
Mr Duterte held 38.65 per cent of the vote, leading the race with 5.92 million votes over his nearest rival, Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Mar Roxas.
Mr Roxas has since conceded in the afternoon of 10 May and has wished Mr Duterte success in the election.
Mr Roxas had 23.16 per cent of the vote, and second runner up Senator Grace Poe had 21.71 per cent. She also conceded to Mr Duterte at around midnight on 10 May, congratulating the mayor.
“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.
Mr Duterte’s campaign has been filled with his profanity-laced vows to kill criminals and solve poverty by quick but brutal plans. His promises have bolstered the support of voters, many of whom believe that the nations’s crime and poverty has worsened in recent years despite strong economic growth.
“It’s with humility, extreme humility, that I accept this, the mandate of the people. 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 said after the poll results were released.
Mr Duterte has been faced with reactions from criticism to disgust from international figures due to numerous controversial comments, ranging from calling Pope Francis “a son of a whore” last November to joking about the 1989 prison gang rape of Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill.
“I was angry because she was raped, that’s one thing. But she was so beautiful, the mayor should have been first. What a waste,” he said, referring to himself as the mayor.
Mr Duterte has also threatened to shut down Congress out if there were moves to impeach him from office.
Yet, the numbers keep rising for Mr Duterte.
Despite his blunt vows to do away with criminals and corrupt government officials, Mr Duterte has yet to offer many details regarding future policies.
“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,” he said at a campaign rally over last weekend.
Departing President Benigno Aquino warned the nation against electing Mr Duterte as the new president, calling him a threat to democracy.
This is the first instance of a sitting Philippines president speaking out against any presidential candidate.