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Asia Minute: Elections in the Philippines Will Place Thousands in Office

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

In the United States, political attention is shifting from the primaries to this fall’s general election.  In the Philippines, this coming Monday is Election Day—with more than the presidency at stake.  HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

The front-runner in the presidential election in the Philippines remains a right-wing mayor campaigning on an anti-crime message….including the return of public executions. 

According to the latest polls, Rodrigo Duterte has an 11% point lead over his nearest rival.  That’s despite making crude jokes about rape; allegations linking him to vigilante death squads and accusations that he has failed to declare to election officials a bank account of four and a half million dollars.  Former Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas has moved into second place.  Senator Grace Poe has fallen to third.

The vice-presidency is another contest.  In the Philippines, that’s an office that’s voted on separately from the top spot---and one of the leading candidates is Ferdinand Marcos Junior, also known by his nickname “Bong Bong.”  His mother Imelda is running for re-election to the House.

The entire house is up for election—nearly 300 seats….along with half the senate—12 seats.  Another well-known name is running for one of those senate seats: boxer Manny Pacquiao…who has already served in the house.

There are also local elections throughout the islands---a total of more than 18-thousand positions.  54-million Filipinos are eligible to take part in the elections…polls open Monday at 6 am.

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.
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