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Philippines’ Duterte set to win all seats in key mid-term senatorial election

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According to unofficial results, candidates from a coalition slate endorsed by Duterte held the top spots in the race for 12 of the Senate’s 24 seats, with 94 per cent of election returns tallied.

One opposition candidate was trailing in 14th spot, while the rest were way behind.

Among the likely winners in the senatorial race were Duterte’s former special assistant Christopher Go, who was in third place in the current tally, and his ex-police chief Ronald Rosa, who was placing fifth.

Another ally in the winning circle is outgoing provincial governor Imee Marcos, daughter of late Dictator Ferdinand.

Duterte said Monday’s elections were a referendum on his rule, and a vote for his candidates would mean support for his policies, including a violent campaign against illegal drugs and a push for federalism.

”The victory of the administration’s candidates and the shut out of the [opposition] candidates send a strong message that our people yearn for stability and continuity of the genuine reforms that the administration started,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement on Tuesday.

”They yearn for a constructive – not obstructionist – Senate which will help in crafting the president’s legislative agenda,” he added.

The opposition is still hoping for one or two candidates to win seats in the Senate, considered as the last bastion of resistance to the 74-year-old leader’s controversial policies.

”We will wait for the final results,” said Sen. Francis Pangilinan, Campaign Manager for the main opposition Liberal Party.

”There were still three million votes uncounted in the unofficial tally.

“We will remain vigilant to the end.”

Pangilinan added that whatever the results, the opposition would continue its struggle for justice, independence and prosperity against the Duterte administration.

”We gambled and acted not because we are assured of victory, but because we sure of our beliefs and principles,” he said.

Some veteran politicians were seen losing in their local races, including former president Joseph Estrada, who was beaten in his re-election bid as mayor of Manila City by an ex-scavenger and a former vice mayor.

In nearby Makati City, former Vice President, Jejomar Binay, failed to clinch the congressional seat in his district.

Security officials said forces were still on high alert nationwide as some congressional, provincial or municipal contests were still being resolved and not all winners have been proclaimed.

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