New Philippine leader seen as emancipator, looming dictator
Rodrigo Duterte, the bombastic mayor of a major southern city, was heralded yesterday as president-elect of the Philippines after an incendiary campaign that projected him alternatively as an emancipator and a looming dictator.
"Our people have spoken and their verdict is accepted and respected," outgoing President Benigno Aquino III's spokesman, Sonny Coloma, said in a statement. "The path of good governance ... is already established as all presidential candidates spoke out against corruption."
Former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, who was running second behind Duterte in the unofficial vote count following Monday's election, conceded defeat. "Digong, I wish you success," Roxas said at a news conference, using Duterte's nickname. "Your victory is the victory of our people and our country."
Duterte's harshest critic also conceded that the mayor, known for his off-colour sexual remarks and pledges to kill criminal suspects, had emerged the unquestioned winner.
"I will not be the party pooper at this time of a festive mood," Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, who has filed a plunder complaint against Duterte, told The Associated Press. "I will step back, listen to his policy pronouncements. This time we don't expect a stand-up comedy act but a president who will address the nation."