Duterte, the Philippine Donald Trump, declares victory and promises new Constitution

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Duterte-artisticAlthough he has yet to be declared president, Rodrigo Duterte claimed victory in the Philippine elections and did not hesitate to promise he will present the country a new Constitution, seeking an open confrontation with the army which has said it will stage a coup in that case.

A preliminary ballot count by the accredited election commission showed Duterte has close to 39 per cent of counted votes as of press time. The unofficial results suggest the tough-talking mayor, who has pledged to kill criminals en masse during his six-year term, will win when the official tally is announced. The race for vice-president is still undecided, with Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos in a razor-thin lead.

Duterte, likened by many to the Donald Trump of the Philippines due to his iron-fist approach to problems and his populist and simplifying hands-on political attitude, said he will “behave” as a president.

However, investors and businesses are not so convinced. Duterte was yet to present a concrete stance on serious issues such as economic reforms, strategists said.

“Rodrigo Duterte’s election platform lacked any content regarding his economic policies, creating considerable uncertainty about his future reform agenda,” Rajiv Biswas, Asia Pacific chief economist at IHS Global Insight, said.

That could see international investors and fund managers reduce exposure to Philippines equities and local government debt, which could weaken the Philippines peso against the greenback in the short-term, Biswas warned.

Global hedge funds are apparently already in formation to start betting against the peso and shorting Philippine stocks, US media reported.

Duterte’s tough talk on the South China Sea conflict could also lead to increased tension that would deter investors further.

Observers say while Filipinos were attracted by Duterte’s crass and uncompromising way to address the country’s perennial problems of crime, illicit drugs, corruption and poverty, few were bothered by the fact that he had not much on the cards regarding economic development and the continuation of the current phase of relative good governance which helped the Philippines to achieve impressive growth rates over the past years.

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Although he has yet to be declared president, Rodrigo Duterte claimed victory in the Philippine elections and did not hesitate to promise he will present the country a new Constitution, seeking an open confrontation with the army which has said it will stage a coup in that case. A preliminary ballot count by the accredited election commission showed Duterte has close to 39 per cent of counted votes as of press time. The unofficial results suggest the tough-talking mayor, who has pledged to kill criminals en masse during his six-year term, will win when the official tally is announced. The...

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Duterte-artisticAlthough he has yet to be declared president, Rodrigo Duterte claimed victory in the Philippine elections and did not hesitate to promise he will present the country a new Constitution, seeking an open confrontation with the army which has said it will stage a coup in that case.

A preliminary ballot count by the accredited election commission showed Duterte has close to 39 per cent of counted votes as of press time. The unofficial results suggest the tough-talking mayor, who has pledged to kill criminals en masse during his six-year term, will win when the official tally is announced. The race for vice-president is still undecided, with Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos in a razor-thin lead.

Duterte, likened by many to the Donald Trump of the Philippines due to his iron-fist approach to problems and his populist and simplifying hands-on political attitude, said he will “behave” as a president.

However, investors and businesses are not so convinced. Duterte was yet to present a concrete stance on serious issues such as economic reforms, strategists said.

“Rodrigo Duterte’s election platform lacked any content regarding his economic policies, creating considerable uncertainty about his future reform agenda,” Rajiv Biswas, Asia Pacific chief economist at IHS Global Insight, said.

That could see international investors and fund managers reduce exposure to Philippines equities and local government debt, which could weaken the Philippines peso against the greenback in the short-term, Biswas warned.

Global hedge funds are apparently already in formation to start betting against the peso and shorting Philippine stocks, US media reported.

Duterte’s tough talk on the South China Sea conflict could also lead to increased tension that would deter investors further.

Observers say while Filipinos were attracted by Duterte’s crass and uncompromising way to address the country’s perennial problems of crime, illicit drugs, corruption and poverty, few were bothered by the fact that he had not much on the cards regarding economic development and the continuation of the current phase of relative good governance which helped the Philippines to achieve impressive growth rates over the past years.

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