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Thompson and Teehankee -- Duterte victory a repudiation of Aquino

Electoral campaign materials are displayed in front of a school polling precinct during the national elections in the Philippine's capital Manila May 9.(Photo by Yumi Kotani)

Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte's apparent victory in the May 9 Philippine presidential elections has been widely portrayed in the international media as an "own goal" by Filipino voters. Unofficial results as of May 12 had him winning nearly 40% of the vote, a solid plurality in a five-way race in which most of his major competitors had conceded.

     Duterte's election follows six years of high growth and political stability under the administration of President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino. The outgoing president endorsed Mar Roxas, who appears to have finished a distant second. Instead, voters choose Duterte, a proudly foul-mouthed maverick promising to end a crime wave in three to six months by killing thousands of criminals, abolishing Congress and taming the courts if they dare to stand in his way. His campaign rhetoric has domestic and foreign business leaders worried, while the country's fragile democratic institutions face their greatest test since the dictatorial President Ferdinand Marcos was overthrown in a largely peaceful "people power" uprising 30 years ago.

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