A Philippine presidential candidate who joked about raping a murdered Australian missionary has widened his lead over his rivals despite a backlash from diplomats, the influential church and women’s groups.
Rodrigo R. Duterte, the tough-talking mayor of the southern city of Davao, emerged as the “clear front runner” in a survey that research institute Social Weather Stations (SWS) released on Monday.
The candidate, who has promised mass killings of suspected criminals, saw his support rise from 27% of respondents in March to 33% in April, giving him a nine-point lead over second-placed Senator Grace Poe just two weeks before the vote.
The survey was conducted from April 18 to 20, shortly after a video circulated showing Duterte making the off-colour remark about the missionary in campaign hustings.
Duterte had told laughing followers that the woman was so beautiful he wished he had been the first in line to rape her before she was murdered in a jail riot in his city in 1989. Read More