LA Times

The Donald Trump of Asia? Brash, unrepentant mayor leads Philippine presidential race

Gina Lopez is hardly the kind of person you’d expect to support a presidential candidate who has endorsed vigilante death squads, made disturbing comments about rape, and vowed to kill his own kids if they ever took drugs.

As head of a prominent nonprofit focused on child welfare, education and the environment, she might be expected to back someone more moderate. But when Philippine voters head to the polls on May 9, she’s casting her ballot for Rodrigo Duterte, the tough-talking, foul-mouthed mayor of the southern city of Davao.

“What I like about him is that he is fearless — he does not care about anyone or anything, he does not say anything to pander to anyone. It’s why he gets in trouble,” said Lopez, chairwoman of the ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation Inc., who says she met personally with four of the five candidates at the start of the campaign to decide who would get her support.

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