Here’s What We Know About the Philippines Election So Far

Lead Photo: REUTERS/Erik De Castro
REUTERS/Erik De Castro
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On May 9, the people of the Philippines headed to one of the 92,509 precincts nationwide to cast their votes for the about 18,000 national and local positions up for grabs – including president, vice president, senators, House of Representatives, governors, mayors, and city council members. In an election season that’s been mired in controversy, it’s not surprising that these issues rolled over to the day of the general election.

The polls opened at 6 a.m., but some couldn’t meet the 5 p.m. deadline.  ABC News reports that at least 150 vote counting machines malfunctioned and needed replacement. In March, The Commission on Elections asked that the election be pushed back at least a month. “The appeal fell on deaf ears, leaving the commission scrambling to get things organized,” according to The Washington Post. “The commission insists that the automatic voting machines will deliver a result that people can trust, but already some overseas Filipinos – who were able to vote in advance – have complained that the machines didn’t accurately record their ballots.”

It’ll take weeks until the results are fully in, but here are a few things that we know one day later:


Rodrigo Duterte wins presidency.

Rodrigo Duterte, who has earned the nickname of the Pinoy Donald Trump, became the P.I.’s 16th president on Monday. Just like Trump, Duterte is known for his controversial statements. He’s made reprehensible comments about rape, and his ruthless approach to crime (he pledges to rid the Philippines of crime and corruption in half a year) has unnerved human rights groups, according to ABC.

However, unlike Trump, Duterte has worked in politics. Amnesty International alleges that under his time as the Davao mayor, “death squads” executed 700 people. But, according to Time, Duterte said the number was closer to 1,700.

Financial market analysts doubt that under Duterte, the country will financially prosper. His weak economic platform, they say, will contribute to weakening the Philippine peso.


Manny Pacquiao is expected to win his senate seat.


The most popular Filipino athlete Manny Pacquiao is almost guaranteed to win one of the 12 Senate seats. In February, Pacquiao spoke out on same-sex marriage, and found himself at odds with voters with his homophobic comments. He said that same-sex couples were “worse than animals,” and he ended up having to apologize. Though, he maintained that he still opposed gay marriage.

According to Fox News, with about 93 percent of precincts accounted for, he had more than 15 million votes.



Geraldine Roman becomes the first transgender person elected to office.

Geraldine Roman, who ran on a Liberal Party ticket, beat out Danny Malana for a congressional seat (which her mother, Herminina Roman, previously held.) According to Buzzfeed, she appealed to low-income voters because of her plans to expand infrastructure and improve Bataan hospitals through updated equipment.

She will also back an anti-discrimination bill that will usher in a new era for the LGBT community. For 16 years, the bill – which protects the LGBT community from discrimination at work, hotels, and schools – hasn’t been able to move forward.

“I am living proof that such a law will allow transgender people to pursue happiness and become productive citizens,” she said, according to AFP. Roman has two master’s degrees, speaks at least four languages, and previously worked as the senior editor of the Spanish News Agency.