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Rodrigo Duterte

A politician who makes rape jokes and is called "The Trump of the East" is set to become Philippines president

Duterte himself says he has killed “around three” people.

consumer / YouTube

THE PHILIPPINES LOOKS set to elect Rodrigo Duterte as President today, after he surged into the lead in early votes.

Rodrigo Duterte, the longtime mayor of the southern city of Davao, has attracted millions with his vows of brutal but quick solutions to the nation’s twin plagues of crime and poverty, which many believed had worsened despite strong economic growth in recent years.

Duterte had 1.31 million votes, nearly double his nearest rival, with about 8% of the total counted, according to CNN Philippines.

His style has led some commentators to call him “the Trump of the East” in reference to Donald Trump.

Duterte has pledged to kill tens of thousands of criminals, establish one-man rule and embrace communist rebels if elected. Already in Davao, a semi-official “death squad” is suspected of the death or disappearance of over 1,000 people between 1998 and 2008.

Duterte himself says he has killed “around three” people.

Philippines Elections Bullit Marquez Bullit Marquez

He also boasted repeatedly about his Viagra-fuelled affairs, while promising voters his mistresses would not cost a lot because he kept them in cheap boarding houses and took them to short-stay hotels for sex.

Last month, he caused controversy when speaking about an Australia missionary who had been gang-raped and killed in Davao.

“She was so beautiful,” he said “I thought, the mayor should have been first. What a waste.”

When asked about this joke, he said that he had been speaking “plain sense”.

In his final rally on Saturday, Duterte repeated to tens of thousands of cheering fans his plans to end crime within six months of starting his presidency.

“Forget the laws on human rights,” said Duterte, who has been accused of running vigilante death squads in Davao.

“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.”

With AFP reporting

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