Landslide victory for Duterte’s allies in midterm polls, Latest World News - The New Paper

Landslide victory for Duterte’s allies in midterm polls

This article is more than 12 months old

MANILA : Allies of President Rodrigo Duterte stormed to a landslide victory in midterm polls, final results showed yesterday, dissolving a last check on his controversial rule.

Loyalists won both houses of the legislature, shutting out all opposition candidates in the Senate, which had served as a buffer against Mr Duterte's most contentious plans.

The results open a path for Mr Duterte - who has remarkably high approval ratings - to make good on his call to bring back the death penalty and advance his project to re-write the constitution.

"It's a clear signal that the people will be behind him as he pushes bills and processes that went nowhere previously," said political analyst Ramon Casiple.

Mr Duterte's allies also kept control of the lower House of Representatives.

Among the new senators is former national police chief Ronald dela Rosa, the first enforcer of Mr Duterte's narcotics crackdown that has killed more than 5,300 people.

Senate seats also went to Mr Christopher "Bong" Go, Mr Duterte's long-time adviser, and Ms Imee Marcos, the daughter of deceased dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who was ousted in a 1986 popular uprising.


The election was also a win for the Duterte family.

Daughter Sara, a possible 2022 presidential candidate, retained her post as mayor of the city of Davao, with sibling Sebastian winning as vice-mayor. The eldest son, Paolo, won a seat in the House of Representatives.

Opponents now fear the majority will allow Mr Duterte to push forward his legislative agenda.

In addition to opening avenues for him to stay in power beyond his legally mandated single term that ends in 2022, a charter change could reshape the Philippines for decades.

"The pessimistic assessment is that what we're looking towards is the complete transformation of the Philippine political system in the years to come, well beyond 2022 when Mr Duterte's term is supposed to end," political analyst Richard Heydarian said. - AFP