Philippines presidential race boiling down to corruption, economy

Philippines presidential race boiling down to corruption, economy
Sen. Grace Poe waves to her supporters during her proclamation rally inside the University of the Philippines in Quezon city, metro Manila on Sept. 16, 2015.
PHOTO: Reuters

MANILA - The Philippine presidential election is still more than six months away, but the primary campaign issues are already taking shape: fighting corruption and maintaining economic growth.

When the nation's 60 million voters go to the poll next May, they will have the difficult task of deciding which candidate can deliver on both fronts.

The current front-runner is independent candidate Grace Poe. The 47-year-old senator has drummed up support by pledging to carry on incumbent President Benigno Aquino fight against corruption.

Her comments on corruption - "President Aquino has done much to curb corruption," and "It is only right to continue the fight against corruption," - drew round after round applause.

"Who would've thought a foundling would ever become senator?" she continued, referring to her background.

As a baby, Poe was abandoned at a church in the province of Iloilo and was adopted by Fernando Poe, a popular Philippine actor. The "king of movies," as he was nicknamed, was also politically minded and ran in the 2004 presidential election.

Grace Poe graduated from Boston College and continued to live in the US for some time before returning to the Philippines when her father died. She was elected senator in 2013.

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