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Philippines goes to polls, political rivalry heats up

9 May 2016 | By Gaurav
The 2016 Philippine elections

The Philippine presidential and vice presidential polls began on 9 May as voters will seek to elect the 16th President of the Philippines.

Outgoing President Benigno Aqino is barred from contesting the polls due to a limit on presidential terms imposed by the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines.

However, the vice-president can still compete for securing his second consecutive term in office.

In context: The 2016 Philippine elections

Introduction The Philippines: A profile

Located in South East Asia, the Republic of the Philippines is a sovereign island nation that consists of over 7000 islands spread across over 300000 sq km.

Christianity is the most common religion of the 96.5 million Filipino population.

It has a democratic government in the form of a constitutional republic with a presidential system.

The Constitution of the Philippines was adopted in 1987.

Electoral SystemThe Philippine electoral system

Elections for the post of president and vice-president are conducted every six years since 1992.

According to Philippine law, the elections are conducted on the second monday of May.

Winners are chosen purely on the basis of votes and no run-offs are conducted.

Once the votes are counted and the winner is announced, the new leaders begin their term on 30 June.

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Who are the candidates running for the election?

Candidates Who are the candidates running for the election?

There are five candidates running for elections in 2016.

The outspoken Mayor of Davao, Rodrigo Duterte is seen as the most likely candidate to win the election.

Political newcomer Grace Poe and former Judge Miriam Defensor-Santiago are the only two women contending for the elections.

Former vice-president Jejomar Binay and former interior secretary Mar Roxas are the other candidates running for the presidency.

Favourite The scandalous Rodrigo

Considered the front-runner for the presidential elections, Mayor Rodrigo "Digong" Duterte, nicknamed "The Punisher", orchestrated a controversial election campaign.

He recently joked that, as mayor, he should have been first to rape an Australian missionary murdered in a prison riot.

His callous remarks and vows to disregard democratic values in dealing with corruption and gang violence has made him a favourite among Filipino youth.

Duterte promises to kill all offenders

"Forget the laws of human rights. 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." - Rodrigo Duterte, Mayor of Davao.

9 May 2016Philippines goes to polls, political rivalry heats up

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What are the areas of concern?

The election campaign has focused on reforming the economy, infrastructure, tackling corruption and crime and on the territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea.

10 May 2016Rodrigo Duterte claims Philippine presidency

Former Mayor of Davao and outspoken presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte won the Philippine presidential election after his opponents dropped out of the race.

Official results have yet to be declared, however the next strongest candidate Mar Roxas admitted defeat after polls gave Mr Duterte an unassailable lead.

Duterte attributed his victory to his tough stance on law and order as Mayor of Davao.

16 May 2016Duterte: Bring back death penalty, shoot on sight

Philippines President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to bring back the death penalty in an attempt to deter violent crime.

He also added that he would give security forces shoot on sight orders for suspects who evade arrest and those involved in organised crime.

However, experts have stated that he would need the support of Congress to pass his proposed legislations.

30 Jun 2016Rodrigo Duterte sworn in as 16th Philippine President

Rodrigo Duterte was officially sworn in as the 16th President of the Philippines after a landslide election victory in May.

Duterte won the elections with a comfortable lead of over 7 million votes.

He was sworn in by Supreme Court Associate Justice Bienvenodo Reyes and his two children stood as witnesses in the ceremony.

Duterte's hard stance on crime contributed to his victory.