Duterte set to be Philippines president; rivals concede

Duterte set to be Philippines president; rivals concede

Election body shows outspoken mayor from south around 6 million votes ahead of closest rival and on way to presidency

By Roy Ramos & Hader Glang

ZAMBOANGA, the Philippines (AA) - Rodrigo Duterte is set to become the first Philippines president from the country's south as his rivals conceded defeat Tuesday.

As of 01.00 p.m Tuesday (0500GMT), the Philippines Commission on Elections had the outspoken Davao City mayor ahead of his nearest rival by around 6 million votes.

With 91.33 percent of the nationwide elections returns counted, Duterte was on 15,342,569 votes, incumbent president President Benigno Aquino III's choice Manuel "Mar" Roxas on 9,249,813 votes and Sen. Grace Poe on 8,589,807.

Roxas has followed Poe in conceding defeat to Duterte, calling on his supporters at the Liberal Party's headquarters in Quezon City to “respect and accept the decisions of our people".

"According to the unofficial count, Digong is the next president of the country," he said Tuesday, referring to Duterte by his nickname.

"Digong, I wish you success," GMA quoted him as saying. "Your success is the success of our country."

Meanwhile in the vice presidential race, Liberal Party candidate Leni Robredo was leading Tuesday afternoon in a neck-to-neck race against Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr, with 13,426,097 votes against 13,240,924.

More than 40 million Filipino voters flocked to polling stations Monday, only to be greeted by paper jams and faulty machines -- prompting Comelec to prepare a resolution to extend the voting period in some precincts.

Most of voters had to endure long lines in extreme heat -- temperatures across the archipelago averaged 37 to 38 degrees -- as senior citizens and voters with children were given priority.

In Cebu City, in the country’s central region, a 46-year-old woman died of suspected heat stroke while waiting for her turn to vote, while another voter fainted while waiting her turn.

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