MANILLA, Philippines, May 28 (UPI) — Rodrigo Duterte, the Filipino politician who encouraged police to kill suspected drug dealers in the city of Davao where he is mayor, has won the nation’s presidency by a landslide, elections officials said.
Duterte finished with 16.6 million votes. His next closest competitor, Mar Roxas, finished with 9.9 million votes.
The election for vice president of the Philippines was much closer. Leni Robredo, a member of the Filipino congress, was declared the winner, defeating Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., 14.4 million votes to 14.1 million.
Elections officials said it took more than 3 days to canvass the vote, which was held on May 9, once reports were collected and brought to the capital to be counted.
Duterte gained national headlines for his city’s no-tolerance policy for crime. Police in Davao have been known to summarily execute suspected drug traffickers at Duterte’s urging.
Though he has yet to take office or even be certified president-elect, some say Duterte’s harsh stance in favor of extra-judicial killings may already be taking effect.
Police across the expansive island nation have gunned down eight suspected criminals this week.
The Australian Broadcasting Corp. said eight drug suspects were killed by police, who said the incidents were lawful because police were responding to gunfire and acting in accordance with proper police procedures. The killings happened in three separate incidents, including one in Manilla and one in Duterte’s home city Davao.
“There is no new policy to kill drug suspects,” Teresita Escamillan, police spokeswoman for Manilla, told ABC. “We have our rules of engagement and respect their human rights.”
Wilnor Papa, the campaign coordinator for Amnesty International‘s Philippines office, said justifiable fear exists that Duterte’s encouraging extra-judicial killings will lead to a wider “erosion of the rule of law.”
“Once that happens, the Philippines will become a Wild West and become totally ungovernable,” Papa said.
Duterte will begin a six-year term on June 30.