Philippines presidential favourite Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to 'forget human rights" if he wins Monday's election and "butcher" criminals, unleashing a typically savage catchphrase to end an explosive campaign.
Duterte has hypnotized millions of voters with his promises to eradicate crime and corruption. On Saturday night, in Manila he repeatedly warned tens of thousands of fans that there will be mass killings under his presidency. He boasted of killing criminals during his more than two decades as mayor of the southern city of Davao.
"Forget the laws on human rights. If I make it to the presidential palace, I will do just what I did as mayor. You drug pushers, hold-up men and do-nothings, you better go out. Because as the mayor, I'd kill you," said Duterte reports AFP.
He gave a 90-minute-long speech in his last campaign. He said that he would be prepared to kill a criminal even in front of human rights campaigners or other critics if he is guilty. "I will butcher him in front of them if they want," he said as reported by AFP.
The 71-year-old leader has made his threats to kill criminals openly. As a result of this, he has outraged the critics but has won the hearts of many in an electorate who are fed up with lawlessness and corruption.
Although Duterte has also used foul language to help cast him as an anti-establishment figure according to the latest survey, he has a lead of 11 percentage points going into Monday's election.
Senator Grace Poe, the adopted daughter of a late movie star, and establishment bedrock Mar Roxas are jointly in the second place whereas Vice President Jejomar Binay, who was the early favourite, has fallen to the fourth place under the weight of a barrage of corruption allegations.
Apart from all these promises, Duterte has threatened the political establishment to instill one-man rule if lawmakers disobey him and create a revolutionary government that could rewrite the Constitution. The mayor said that he has turned the city of roughly two million people into one of the safest and wealthiest in the country, and he is promising to do the same for the rest of the country.
"There will be no corruption in government. If you don't believe just go to Davao and see. When I say I will make (a criminal) eat a bullet, you must believe me," he said reported AFP.
This has created high hopes among the people. Among the attendees there was an 84-year-old housewife, Zenaida Gobangco, who said she would vote for Duterte.
"He is sincere. When he says he will kill criminals, it is just right that we have a leader people fear," she told AFP.
Although Duterte is undeniably the favorite among the voters, at the same time he lacks the sophisticated political machinery like some of his rivals.