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Duterte's Opponents Concede Philippine Presidential Race

  • VOA News

Supporters of Philippine presidential candidate Mar Roxas grieve as they attend his press conference in suburban Quezon city , north of Manila, Philippines on Tuesday, May 10, 2016.

Supporters of Philippine presidential candidate Mar Roxas grieve as they attend his press conference in suburban Quezon city , north of Manila, Philippines on Tuesday, May 10, 2016.

Rodrigo Duterte, whose foul-mouthed, populist campaign earned him both praise and ridicule, is the apparent winner of the Philippines presidential election.

An unofficial count of the votes by a Roman Catholic poll monitoring group accredited by the government, shows the 71-year-old mayor of southern Davao city with a large, insurmountable lead over his nearest rivals, former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and Senator Grace Poe. With more than 90 percent of the vote tallied, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting revealed that Duterte had earned nearly 39 percent of the vote, with Roxas pulling in just over 23 percent and Poe sitting in third place with nearly 22 percent.

Roxas formally conceded the race Tuesday afternoon during a press conference. "Digong, I wish you success," Roxas said, using Duterte's nickname.

Poe conceded shortly before midnight Monday, telling reporters at a news conference she would respect the election results and would work with Duterte.

Presidential candidate Rodrigo "Digong" Duterte talks to the media before casting his vote at Daniel Aguinaldo National High School in Davao city in southern Philippines, May 9, 2016.

Presidential candidate Rodrigo "Digong" Duterte talks to the media before casting his vote at Daniel Aguinaldo National High School in Davao city in southern Philippines, May 9, 2016.

In the vice presidential race, Congresswoman Leni Robredo has a razor-thin lead over Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr., the son of the Philippines's late dictator.

The Philippine government is expected to release final election results later Tuesday.

Duterte declared victory Monday, telling the French News Agency that he accepts "the mandate of the people" with extreme humility.

Duterte earned comparisons to American Donald Trump, the billionaire real estate mogul and presumptive U.S. Republican presidential party, with bombastic, profanity-laced promises to stamp out crime and corruption, including pledges to kill criminals.

His comments earned him support among long-suffering Philippine voters frustrated with poverty and inequality, as well as accusations from human rights groups that he ordered hundreds of extrajudicial killings during his 22 years as mayor of Davao city.

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