President's men lead in Philippines vote

Manila - President Fidel Ramos's candidates took early leads in Philippines national elections that are seen as a test of his popularity. But violence claimed at least 18 lives and forced the postponement of voting in remote Muslim areas.

Early tallies showed allies of Mr Ramos leading in nine of the 12 seats being contested in the Senate. Office-seekers included the widow and son of the late president Ferdinand Marcos. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos was trailing in his Senate race. No returns were available for Leyte Island, where his mother, Imelda, was seeking a seat in the lower house. AP