Duterte sees results of midterm polls as referendum for admin

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte answers queries from members of the media after casting his vote for the midterm elections at the Daniel R. Aguinaldo National High School in Davao City on May 13, 2019. RICHARD MADELO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO


MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte believes the result of the 2019 midterm elections would be a referendum for his three-year-old administration.

“Could be. It could be taken as one as a referendum. So if you agree with me, then you can vote for my candidates or the people I’m supporting in the election,” Duterte told reporters after casting his vote in Davao City.

If the results of the Senate race won’t favor him, the President said this would mean the majority of Filipinos’ disapproval of his governance.

“Now if I am repudiated by the loss of all candidates coming from the Hugpong slate, then that would indicate that majority of the people don’t like me,” he said.

The 74-year-old President even said he was ready to step down if the media would ask him.

“If media demands that I step down, I will step down. But only accredited, legitimate, tax-paying [media outfits],” he said.

Recent surveys showed the Duterte-backed candidates have dominated the top 12 in the Senate race.

Even the Liberal Party-led opposition said during the start of the campaign period that May 13 elections would be a referendum for Duterte.

A pro-Duterte-dominated Senate is seen to bolster the President’s legislative agenda, including his wish of shifting the government to a federal system, the return of death penalty, and the lowering of the age for criminal liability among others. (Editor: Abe Cerojano)