'Duterte Harry' wins Philippines elections

A late night alcohol ban, no children in the streets and a strict prohibition on loud karaoke are among his policies.

Megan Townsend
Sunday 29 May 2016 15:44 BST
Rodrigo Duterte answers questions during a press conference on Thursday, ahead of the official announcement, in Davao City, Philippines
Rodrigo Duterte answers questions during a press conference on Thursday, ahead of the official announcement, in Davao City, Philippines (AP)

Philippine lawmakers completed the official vote count from the 9th of May elections on Friday, announcing that Mayor Rodrigo Duterte had won the presidency by an overwhelming margin, while Rep. Leni Robredo triumphed as vice president.

Duterte, currently mayor of southern Davao city, received more than 16.6 million votes, 6.6 million more than his closest rival, former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, who was backed by outgoing President Benigno Aquino III.

The President-elect will impose a nationwide curfew on children being on the streets late at night and is also considering banning the serving of alcohol after midnight, his spokesman Peter Lavina said earlier this month, affirming the plan “will require a wide national consensus beginning with asking congress to call for a constitutional convention”, hinting that Duterte may propose a rewriting of the current constitution.

Men who violated the 10pm liquor ban, seen drinking on public places, are temporarily detained and made to do 40 push-ups at a police headquarters in Manila (AFP/Getty)

Lavina added that it is possible for Duterte to use an executive order, it would be best done through a “democratic process of legislating these measures”.

A police station in Manila has already implemeted the "RODY," or Rid the streets Of Drinkers and Youths scheme, forcing revellers to do 40 push-ups if they stay out drinking past 10pm.

Duterte, 71, had promised during a foul-mouthed campaign to change from a centralised system to a federal parliamentary form of government, a policy that has been popular in provinces far from Manila. As the mayor of southern city Davao for two decades, Duterte has lamented that the capital “gets everything so regions are forced to beg”.

The presidential-elect, dubbed ‘Duterte Harry’, has already enforced a number of antisocial behaviour prohibitions as Mayor.

“This liquor ban is because we have to work the next day,” he said. “Nothing to do with denying us of our freedoms.”

“Incidentally, we have a ban on loud karaoke in Davao because everyone has to go to bed.”

Duterte, 71, did not immediately comment on his victory. He has said he does not plan to attend his proclamation as president-elect in Manila.

The Police station in Manila implemeted Oplan "RODY," or Rid the streets Of Drinkers and Youths - proposed by President-elect Rodrigo Duterte (AFP/Getty)

The outcome of the official count cements the stunning political rise of Duterte, who won on an audacious promise to eradicate crime and corruption within six months as president. The pledge resonated among many crime-weary Filipinos, although police officials have said it is impossible to accomplish, noting that crime continues to hound Davao city, where the president-elect has served as mayor on and off for more than 22 years.

Human rights groups have also been alarmed by Duterte, who they suspect instigated the extrajudicial killings of many crime suspects by motorcycle-riding gunmen dubbed the Davao death squads in his city. The suspicions have been bolstered by Duterte's public threats to kill drug dealers and other criminals.

Duterte has been likened to presumptive U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump because of his brash rhetoric and unorthodox political style. The Filipino politician detests the comparison, saying Trump is a bigot and he is not.

He has said he plans to offer four Cabinet positions to designated allies of communist guerrillas who have been waging a decades-long insurgency in the poor Southeast Asian country.

Additional reporting by AP

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