The Philippines, one of Asia's fastest-growing economies, has its own version of Donald Trump running for president, and he could emerge victorious when the country votes on May 9.
Meet Rodrigo Duterte, the mayor of Davao — one of the country's richest cities in terms of local incomes — and presidential candidate of the center-left PDP-Laban political party. After a 22-year mayoral career, he announced his presidential campaign in November.
Since then, his controversial views and soaring popularity have led international media to note the striking similarities to the campaign being run by U.S. presidential hopeful Trump.
Both appear to lack a "public relations filter," with each candidate boasting a long string of politically incorrect comments. But while Trump's most inflammatory comments deal with immigration, particularly his proposal to create a "deportation force" and build a wall to keep Mexicans from illegally entering America, Duterte's focus is crime.
During an address on Wednesday to the Makati Business Club, which includes some of the Philippines' top executives, the 71-year-old mayor proclaimed a "bloody war" against criminals, pledging to protect officers from human rights and corruption watchdogs while the police cracks down on gangs, Reuters reported.
"I will use the military and the police to go out and arrest them [criminals], hunt for them and if they offer a violent resistance ...I will simply say, kill them all so we can finish this problem," he was quoted as saying.
Duterte has previously publicly admitted to shooting dead three alleged kidnappers in 1988, according to multiple reports, based on a December interview with radio station DZMM.
"I say let's kill five criminals every week, so they will be eliminated," he said in December. The prospect of encouraging extrajudicial killings as a crime-fighting solution provoked a massive backlash from human rights groups.
He has also acknowledged links with Davao's infamous "Death Squads," a vigilante group responsible for killing alleged criminals. Local police and government officials have long been involved with the squad, according to Human Rights Watch.