Philippine crime-fighting mayor tops opinion polls for president

MANILA A challenging-speaking, seven-term mayor, who has constructed a reputation for fighting crime in the insurgency-plagued southern Philippines, has become favorite to succeed President Benigno Aquino in May possibly elections, an opinion poll showed on Monday.

Rodrigo Duterte, 70, mayor of Davao City, was the top-rated contender for 38 percent of 1,200 respondents, the Social Weather Stations poll stated.

Senator Grace Poe, who topped surveys in June and September, slid down to second spot with 21 percent in a tie with Vice President Jejomar Binay, who led opinion polls early this year. Poe had 26 percent support in September and Binay had 24 %.

Poe final week was barred for operating because she fails to meet the 10-year residency requirement but she is hopeful that choice will be reversed on appeal.

The elections will be closely watched by investors, who fear the political succession in one particular of Asia’s fastest-developing economies could derail gains produced in the course of Aquino’s rule.

Below Aquino, the Philippines has observed annual financial growth of much more than six % on average, its ideal 5-year record in four decades. He has also battled to rein in corruption.

About 54 million Filipinos are eligible to vote to decide on a president, vice president and much more than 18,000 regional government executives and lawmakers in the common elections, which occur every single six years.

Aquino’s chosen successor, former interior minister Manuel “Mar” Roxas, was fourth in the poll, falling from 20 percent support in September to 15 %.

Political analysts stated the rise in support for Duterte could be attributed to his anti-crime crusade. As mayor, Duterte has turned about the reputation of Davao, as soon as 1 of the most crime-plagued cities in the country.

(Reporting By Manuel Mogato Editing by Nick Macfie)

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