UPDATE: 11:31 a.m. IST -- Mar Roxas, who was the main rival to Rodrigo Duterte conceded defeat in the Philippine presidential election.
Controversial candidate Rodrigo Duterte is set to win the Philippine presidential elections, as per reports on Tuesday, even as he was criticised for his inflammatory campaign that included threats of mass execution of criminals and even jokes about rape. Duterte had been dubbed the Filipino "Donald Tump" during his campaigning.
Duterte whipped up a lead of 5.92 million votes, according to AFP, which cited PPCRV, a Catholic Church-run poll monitor accredited by the government, over his rival Mar Roxas of the Liberal Party, which the outgoing President Benigno Aquino also comes from. Aquino had urged voters to not support Duterte, warning of a "return of terror" if he came to power, hinting at the dictatorship of former ruler Ferdinand Marcos, who was ousted in 1986.
Duterte, who has been the mayor of the southern Philippine city of Davao, has been accused by human rights groups of extra-judicial killings of as many as 1,000 suspected criminals, and he also threatened to do the same if elected president.
The 71-year-old's victory may not come as a surprise to many in the country, given that he had topped candidate polls and surveys in the last few weeks, despite his controversial remarks, including ones about his Viagra-fuelled escapades with his mistresses and a joke about wanting to rape a "beautiful" Australian missionary.
One of Duterte's main challenges as president would be to crack down on the Abu Sayyaf militant group that operates in some of the southern islands and is known for kidnapping foreigners for ransom money. The group recently beheaded a Canadian hostage and have threatened to execute more foreigners.