Duterte casts vote in high-stakes midterm polls

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 13 2019 04:56 PM | Updated as of May 13 2019 06:22 PM

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte shows his index finger after casting his vote for the Mid-term elections at the Daniel Aguinaldo National Highschool in Matina Davao City on Monday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

DAVAO CITY - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday afternoon cast his vote for the midterm polls, a crucial period in his presidency seen to have huge implications on his legislative priorities.

Duterte arrived at the Daniel R. Aguinaldo National High School in Talomo district past 4 p.m., heavily guarded by members of the Presidential Security Group. This was his first time to vote as President, as he skipped the 2018 barangay polls.

Duterte supported the candidacies of 12 senatorial aspirants: 5 from his political party PDP-Laban and 7 guest candidates.

The latest surveys show Duterte’s allies are set to get majority of the 12 vacant slots in the Senate.

A boost in the majority’s membership in the Senate would also mean smooth sailing for Duterte’s legislative priorities, although analysts are split whether the President’s federalism pitch will have an easy time in the second half of his term, as this could derail the political ambitions of those seeking the presidency.

University of the Philippines political science professor Aries Arugay said a favorable result in the polls would firm up Duterte’s mandate.

Arugay, however, said those who fared well in the pre-election surveys may have not needed Duterte’s endorsement at all as they have already established their respective brands in the national political scene.

“It just so happened they are attached to President Duterte,” Arugay said.

“So to say they are rating well, particularly the comebackers, just because of Duterte’s endorsement, I don’t buy that. It’s really more that these are the names that people are used to.”