09/29/2021, 16.33
PHILIPPINES
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Support for Duterte drops ahead of next year’s elections

The outgoing president is running second for the vice presidency, poll shows. His daughter Sara remains in top spot, but her lead is dwindling. She has yet to announce that she is jumping into the race. Pacquiao retires from boxing to devote himself only to politics. Catholic groups call for a “clean, accurate, responsible and transparent” vote.

Manila (AsiaNews) – The Philippines presidential election, scheduled for May 2022, is shaping up to be a greater challenge for the Duterte family.

A recent poll shows a gradual drop in support for the outgoing president, Rodrigo Duterte, who is running second among candidates for the vice presidency. Under the constitution, he cannot stand for a second term as president.

His 43-year-old daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio, is doing much better, topping the polls despite not having announced her candidacy for the presidency. However, her lead is narrowing.

Duterte-Carpio, the current mayor of Davao, recently said that she wanted to seek a new mandate as her city’s first citizen rather than run for president.

Officially, the campaign for the highest office is set to start on 1 October when candidates can register to run.

Popular boxing champion Manny Pacquiao today announced his retirement from the ring to devote himself only to politics.

He is not alone. Other potential candidates are considering taking a plunge. Meanwhile, they are cutting into Duterte-Carpio's lead. The Pulse Asia survey of 2,400 people, held earlier this month, found her support dropping from 28 per cent to 20 per cent.

By contrast, Pacquiao, 42, is gaining momentum, going from 8 per cent to 12 per cent. The son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr, is pulling 15 per cent; he too has not yet said if he is running. Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso follows with 13 per cent.

The vice presidency is largely ceremonial role, but it would protect Rodrigo Duterte from the courts over the thousands of extra-judicial killings perpetrated during his brutal war on drugs.

Senate speaker Vicente Sotto is challenging Duterte for the second highest office in the land with his support jumping from 10 per cent to 25 per cent, ahead of Duterte who is at 14 per cent, down by four points compared to the previous poll.

Meanwhile, Church organisations have entered the political fray by launching a campaign for a “clean, accurate, responsible and transparent” vote.

They are part of Halalang Marangal 2022, a coalition of over 20 Church and civic groups campaigning for a fair election, starting with voters’ registration, a process that has encountered several problems in recent weeks.

To this end, Bishop Collin Bagaforo, president of Caritas Philippines, is among those calling on the faithful to join the coalition.

In his view, voters must be better informed and familiarise themselves with the electoral process so that Filipinos can regain trust in their elections and the institutions that represent them.

“We have this special responsibility in times of serious moral, economic, health, food security, livelihood and leadership crises,” the prelate said.

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