Philippine mid-terms: Duterte consolidates grip on power


22nd May, 2019 12:40:29 printer

Philippine mid-terms: Duterte consolidates grip on power


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has won resounding support in last week's mid-term elections.

Wednesday's official results show his allies now control the senate which so far has served as a check on some of his more controversial policies.

The win gives him sweeping power to push his agenda including constitutional changes and reintroducing the death penalty.

The election has also cemented his family members in the political elite.

Despite criticism from rights groups over his brutal drug war, the president remains hugely popular across the Philippines

What were the result?

There were 18,000 posts up for grabs in the election held on 13 May, but the most-watched contest was the race for 12 senate seats in the 24-seat upper house.

Nine of the new or re-elected senators are pro-Duterte, three are independents. The liberal opposition did not win a single one of the 12 seats.

The man who oversaw a drug war that has seen thousands of suspected drug dealers or users killed in police operations is among the Duterte allies elected to the Senate.

Human rights activists fear that former police chief Roland dela Rosa will now be protected from any legal action. The police say the killings were self defence.

Others elected to the Senate include the daughter of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos and the wife of one of the Philippines' richest men.