Philippines: Rodrigo Duterte inches closer to 'bloody presidency'

Duterte steers his campaign around crime, appealing to the rich and the middle classes of the country who fear rising crime.

Crass campaign talk, lurid accounts of libido and sex life, a promise to kill criminals in their thousands, street-smart defiance of big world powers, speeches laden with expletives and irreverence -- these and more such expressions of base qualities have all but cleared the path to power for Philippines presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte.

Despite profanity and rash statements hogging the limelight in his campaign speeches, the Davao City mayor's lead over chief rival Senator Grace Poe widened to double digits in the latest survey.

The Pulse Asia survey conducted between April 16 and 20 showed Duterte had 35 percent of support among prospective voters.

Duterte steered his campaign around crime, appealing to the rich and the middle classes of the country who fear rising crime.

The latest phase in the presidential campaign saw Duterte's unconventional tactics eating into former frontrunner Grace Poe's lead. The senator has been pushed back to a distant second in the survey with 24 percent of support.

Manuel Roxas II and Vice President Jejomar Binay were at the third and fourth positions with 17 percent and 16 percent votes, respectively.

The election will be held on 9 May. The winner will hold a single term presidency of six years.

Here's a look at the shocking statements made by Duterte on the campaign trail.

On womanizing: Duterte has made a series of remarks about his sex life, defending his image of a womanizer.

"I was separated from my wife. I'm not impotent. What am I supposed to do? Let this hang forever? ... "When I take Viagra, it stands up."

Duterte, 71, admitted he has two mistresses but assured voters they won't cost him much. He said he keeps them at cheap boarding houses and takes them to short-time hotels for sex.

Leading vigilante death squads : Duterte has boasted in the past about leading vigilante death squads in the city and claimed the squad has killed more than 1700 people.

He said his presidency will be a bloody one and that he will eradicate crime syndicates in the first six months of his rule. He said he will authorise security agencies to kill criminals in their hundreds.

Rights abuse : The presidential candidate has shown scorn for human rights, saying he will eradicate crime by executing criminals and that he will pardon himself for doing this.

He also said he will issue a 100 pardons every day to soldiers who kill criminals. 'Pardon given to Rodrigo Duterte for the crime of multiple murder, signed Rodrigo Duterte,' Duterte said in a speech to the Makati Business Club.

Rape remark: Duterte's remarks about murdered Australian rape victim caused a hailstorm of criticism.

'I saw her face and I thought, 'Son of a bitch. What a pity... they raped her, they all lined up. I was mad she was raped but she was so beautiful. I thought, the mayor should have been first," he said.

"This one, she is so beautiful, she looks like an actress. W***e of a mother! They did it ahead of me, kill them all," he added.

South China Sea dispute : Duterte bluntly holds the US and Australia responsible for China's rising dominance in the South China Sea. He bluntly criticizes the Philippines' allies for not stopping China on its tracks.

"Why the hell didn't Australia, the Americans or even Japan stop it?"he asks.