Duterte plans "major rewrite" of constitution as Philippine president

The winner of the Philippines’ presidential election, Rodrigo Duterte, plans a “major rewriting” of the country’s constitution, his spokesman said Tuesday.

Duterte, the tough-talking mayor of the southern city of Davao, won an emphatic victory in Monday's polls, according to unofficial results.

He would seek a shift to a federal-parliamentary form of government, his spokesman Peter Lavina said.

“There will be a major rewriting of the constitution,” he told reporters, explaining that Duterte would ask Congress to convene a constitutional convention to draft the changes.

The 71-year-old was also studying imposing a nationwide curfew on unaccompanied minors and a liquor ban that would limit the sale of alcohol in public establishments after 1 am.

The restrictions are part of efforts to crush crime, Lavina said, noting: “This has nothing to do with denying us of our freedoms.”

Duterte’s closest rival, administration candidate and former interior secretary Mar Roxas, conceded defeat earlier Tuesday.

"It is clear that Mayor Duterte is the next president of the Republic of the Philippines," Roxas told reporters. "Let us respect and accept the decision of the people."

Duterte, mayor of the southern city of Davao, had received nearly 39 per cent of the votes, or 15.52 million, followed by Roxas, who had 23.37 per cent, or 9.38 million, with nearly 93 per cent of precincts tallied by the Parish Pastoral Council on Responsible Voting (PPCRV).

Third-place finisher Senator Grace Poe, who received over 8 million votes according to the unofficial count, conceded defeat late Monday.

Duterte, nicknamed “the Punisher” for his tough stance on crime, shocked the country during the campaign as he often swore in his speeches and even joked about rape.

He once said that Manila Bay would turn red from the bodies he will dump there and that “God will weep” if he becomes president.

In the vice presidential race, Congresswoman Leni Robredo overtook the only son and namesake of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in a tight contest.

Robredo was leading with 210,929 more votes than Marcos, popularly known by his nickname “Bongbong."

Robredo vowed to give her full support to Duterte if she won.

"It is apparent that our people have chosen already and it is Mayor Duterte who will be our next president," she said. "He deserves my 100 per cent support and this is good for the country.“

The PPCRV has been accredited by the Commission on Elections to conduct a quick count based on actual election returns. The official tally will later be conducted by Congress as required by law.

The commission said voter turnout in Monday’s polls was estimated at 80 per cent. More than half of the country’s 100 million people – or 54 million – were registered to vote.

Last update: Tue, 10/05/2016 - 14:06
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