Southeast Asia | Philippines: Duterte draws 300,000 supporters in show of force before polls

Philippines: Duterte draws 300,000 supporters in show of force before polls

May 7, 2016 7:15 AM (UTC+8)

 

(From AP)

The outspoken city mayor who is the front-runner in the Philippine presidential race drew the largest crowd Saturday as the candidates held their final rallies, despite efforts by the president to block his election bid over fears he could threaten the country’s democracy.

Presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte gestures as he greets the crowd during his final campaign rally in Manila Saturday
Presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte (C) gestures as he greets the crowd during his final campaign rally in Manila Saturday

After criss-crossing the archipelago nation, the five presidential candidates, led by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, converged in the vote-rich capital Manila as three months of bruising campaigning came to an end ahead of Monday’s election.

About 300,000 people turned up at Duterte’s rally at a historic grandstand by Manila Bay where presidential inaugurations have been held, according to an initial police estimate. Crowds at the other candidates’ gatherings were much smaller based on police counts.

“All of you who are into drugs, you sons of b…., I will really kill you,” Duterte told the huge crowd, using his typically coarse style of speaking.

He said he would risk his life to fulfill a bold promise to end crime and corruption within months if he wins.

“I have no patience, I have no middle ground, either you kill me or I will kill you idiots,” he said as the crowd cheered.

At the end of his speech, Duterte tried to shift from his crude demeanor, promising that if he wins, “I’ll be decent.” Read More

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