With 90% of votes counted, the mayor of Davao has won 38%. The two biggest competitors have already conceded defeat. The new president’s victory speech: "I will fight crime at the cost of my life. Judge me at the end of my mandate".
Manila (AsiaNews / Agencies) - " I will be a dictator against all bad guys, evil, I will do it even at the cost of my position or my life. I won’t stop. That’s a solemn commitment. " With these words Rodrigo Duterte celebrated his election as President of the Philippines.
The counting of the votes cast yesterday is not yet completed, but based on 90% of the total, the former mayor of Davao has won 38% of the vote. Moreover, the other two major candidates, Mar Roxas (23.3%) and Grace Poe (21.7%), have conceded their defeat to Duterte. The new president will rule for the next six years. "Judge me - he said - not by newspaper headlines, but at the end of my mandate. If I hurt you, shoot me".
Rodrigo "Digong" Duterte, 71, is a member of the PDP-Laban Party and for more than 22 years he was mayor of Davao City (southern Mindanao), a city that he has transformed from a crime land and mobster paradise to "one of the safest cities in Asia". With his tough guy policy, the politician eradicated crime in the territory, imposing a curfew on young people and supporting the right to fire on suspects. On May 7, the current President Benigno Aquino called for an alliance between the other candidates to stop Duterte and his "military style", but the appeal fell on deaf ears.
The fight against crime, from drug trafficking to Islamic terrorism, has been the workhorse of Duterte’s election campaign. He has promised to eradicate crime within six months, a proposal deemed by many as "populist" and baseless. In his victory speech, Duterte directly addressed drug dealers: "I have no patience, I have no middle ground, or you kill me or I will kill you, idiots". His positions on other issues, such as economics, are little known.
Certain sections of civil society are "concerned" that under Duterte there is the risk of a return to a military dictatorship, at least de facto.
Yesterday a total of 18 thousand other seats were voted for. The race for the vice presidency is a head to head between Congress’ Leni Robredo and Ferdinand Marcos Jr., a Duterte ally and son of the dictator who held power between the 60s and 80s, from whose positions he has never distanced himself.