The candidates – Five candidates are contesting the 2016 Philippines presidential elections. From left to right: Jejomar Binay, Rodrigo Duterte, Miriam Defensor Santiago, Grace Poe and Manuel 'Mar' Roxas.
Rodrigo Duterte – Rodrigo Duterte has cursed the Pope, 'joked' about the rape of an Australian missionary, and been accused of involvement in extrajudicial killings while mayor of Davao City. Despite the headlines,
the major presidential polls show that around one in three Filipino voters want him as president, making him a clear favorite.
Grace Poe – Grace Poe, the popular daughter of the late Filipino action star, Fernando Poe Jr., started out as the front-runner but was formally disqualified by the electoral commission in early December 2015. Poe defeated the ruling in the Supreme Court of the Philippines in March 2016, but now faces an uphill battle to regain popularity. Polls presently place her in second place behind Duterte, with between 22-24% of the vote.
Currently Vice President of the Philippines, Jejomar Binay's run for the highest office has been marred by serious allegations of corruption. A March 2016 Philippines Commission on Audit report recommended that he be punished for a wide array of offenses with removal from office, although that can only be implemented through impeachment proceedings or by Philippine court proceedings. Binay slipped from third to fourth place in the latest SWS polls, with an estimated 14% of the vote.
Manuel 'Mar' Roxas – Manuel 'Mar' Roxas, grandson of former Philippine President Manuel Roxas, is a well-known local politician who serves in the Philippines senate. An investment banker in New York prior to returning home to run for office, the former Interior Secretary has overtaken Binay for third place in the most recent SWS poll, with support from 19% of respondents.
Miriam Defensor-Santiago – Miriam Defensor-Santiago is a long time civil servant and notable for having served in all three branches -- judicial, executive, and legislative -- of government. However, she was forced to take nearly six weeks off from the campaign scene due to her battle with stage four lung cancer, not helping her position -- she has consistently placed at the bottom of multiple race surveys.