Manila, Philippines – At dawn of dawn to beat long queues and the swelling summer heat, the Philippines led Monday to school yards and other public halls designated to their departments, in election to legislators and local senior executives as expected strengthen President Rodrigo Duterte's strength halfway through his mandate.
Polls officially opened at 6:00 am local time (22:00 GMT on Sunday) and closes at 18:00 GMT.
More than 61 million Filipinos are registered to vote in the mid-term surveys, with approximately 43,000 candidates over 18,000 positions.
The highest positions at stake are 1
Private polls preference surveys predict a favorable outcome for the administration, with its senatorial candidates pois ed to win up to two-thirds of the disputed sites.
Although it mainly supports Duterte, the current Senate has so far softened its more polarizing goals, such as resuming the death penalty or reformulating the constitution to change the form of government from unified to federal – a move that can allow Duterte to remain indefinite time.
Philippines Half-Time Tests Testing for Rodrigo Duterte's Popularity (2:51)
Critics have expressed fear that a victory for Duterte's allies would reduce the Senate's independence and prevent it from keeping a control on the president as they expect to drive on their platforms when his only six-year period enters the home.
"It is obvious that there are few who stand in the government nowadays," said Senator Leila De Lima, imprisoned for illegal drug charges after she ran a survey on thousands of deaths in Duterte's "drug war".
"Our institutions lack voices for justice and truth. Many are afraid of persecution and choose to kowtow just to stay," she said in a statement on Monday.
One of only four existing opposition senators, called De Lima voters to "dismiss the liars, the corrupt, the looters!"
This was a clear jab on Duterte's senator slate, which includes two former senators loaded with looting and a daughter to the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
The campaign of a coalition of senatorial candidates against Duterte called "Otso Diretso" or "Eight Straight" issued similar criticism to Duterte and his candidates.
Opposition candidates also questioned Duterte's Chinese friendly policy in the light of Beijing's occupation of areas of the South China Sea within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone and demanded the liability of drug war killings which some watchdogs said have reached more than 20,000.
However, the resistance block appears to be unlikely win many Senate seats. The latest voter prefers The survey indicates that only one of them is likely to succeed: Bam Aquino, a cousin of former President Benigno Aquino.
Analysts say that despite the harsh criticism of Duterte's administration, the opposition's campaign failed to hover most voters still counting on the president's promise of "change" in alleviating poverty and combating crime.
|Philippines voted at a voting center in Manila [Aaron Favila/AP Photo]|
While voters led to the voting districts, the Commission warned whether elections against them from candidate candidates who would offer to pay them for their votes.
"Voice purchase" is one of the most serious concerns in the Philippines' electronically automated selection. The Commission has reported dozens of such cases even before the polls were opened and it is said that many more cases are undetected.
Candidates who have proven to have been trying to buy voices are charged with a serious crime of custody, imprisoned and disqualified from the public office. But very few cases are being brought to justice.
Initial results are expected within a few hours after the polls are closed, and the winners will be officially declared over the next few weeks.
In 2013, the last half-time vote gave a vote of 77 percent to voters.