Rodrigo Duterte wins Philippines presidential elections - poll monitor

'It's with humility, extreme humility, that I accept this, the mandate of the people'

Anti-establishment southern mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who chiseled himself up into a massively popular figure by promising quick fixes to issues such as poverty, corruption and crime, has won the Philippines presidency.

According to the country's official poll monitor, the tough talking politician who demolished competition by connecting to masses at a subliminal level, won about 40 percent of the votes.

Administration standard-bearer Mar Roxas was at the second spot with 23 percent votes while former front-runner Grace Poe slipped to the third position when more than 90 percent of the votes were counted.

As per Philippines laws the winner in presidential election is decided by a simple majority.

"It's with humility, extreme humility, that I accept this, the mandate of the people," Duterte told the AFP, lacing the thumping victory with uncharacteristic modesty.

But that was followed by another of those hyperboles that gave helped him win the presidency. "What I can promise you is that I will do my very best not just in my waking hours but even in my sleep," said Duterte, who brazenly said he would kill criminals and let human rights rot in the process.

Grace Poe, whose promising campaign was driven over by Duterte's rustic vigour and straight talk that appealed to masses, congratulated the incoming president and offered support.

"As a staunch supporter of electoral reform, I have a firm belief in the voice and sentiment of our people. I honour the result of our elections," Poe said.

The 71-year -old mayor of Davao city, who was a former state prosecutor, had stormed into the top of what was almost an evenly placed four-way race as the voters lapped up his promise to fix crime and end poverty.

He also reveled in controversies, defending at some point even obnoxious statements like he should have been the first to rape an Australian missionary murdered in a prison two decades ago.

As the line between irreverence and profanity blurred, the would be leader of a fiercely Catholic country refereed to Pope Francis as a son of a w***e.

I will kill you

His outspoken promise of crushing criminals with an iron has won him the support of the rich and middle classes, even in the capital region.

"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," he had said.

In the final weeks of the campaign Duterte's lead over three other major candidates had risen to an unassailable level.

Though Duterte continued to command popular support across the country, the southern leader was also heavily critiqued. There were concerns that Duterte's freewheeling style and lack of respect for the establishment would herald an era of political inconsistency.

Some had even expressed fears that some of Duterte's professed policies, including those on the fate of Congress, mean the country faces risk of a dictatorship.

Former military commanders have made it clear that the military will not hesitate to get involved if a potential Duterte presidency goes ahead with the plans to change the constitution.

Duterte and a new vice-president will take office on June 30.

The full election results can be checked on the Commission on Elections website.

The official declaration of election results in the Philippines is a long-draw process. As per the election commission rules the process will last until June 8, 2016.

The commission will declare the winners between May 13 and 15. After the last presidential election in 2013, President Benigno Aquino and Vice President Jejomar Binay were declared winners full four weeks after the elections.