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Mad Max Meets Trump? Meet the Man Leading the Philippine Presidential Race

  • Davao mayor Duterte heads polls before May 9 presidential vote
  • Duterte likened by some to U.S. presidential candidate Trump
A Jeepney is decorated with the face of Rodrigo Duterte, mayor of Davao City and the Philippine presidential candidate.

A Jeepney is decorated with the face of Rodrigo Duterte, mayor of Davao City and the Philippine presidential candidate.

Photographer: Taylor Weidman/Bloomberg
Updated on

In a year of global anti-establishment politics, Philippine voters appear ready for a renegade president: Self-confessed killer Rodrigo Duterte, a 71 year-old Viagra-chomping womanizer whose promise of a "bloody war" on crime has seen him race ahead in opinion polls.

Duterte has been mayor of Davao City on the southern island of Mindanao for two decades, where his strongman swagger and endorsement of the execution of criminals earned him the nicknames “Duterte Harry” and “The Punisher.” He’s been likened to U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump, using populist rhetoric to reach Filipinos who feel the mainstream political parties are out of touch.