The election in May 2022 comes at a crucial time for the Philippines, which has faced one of the worst Covid outbreaks in south-east Asia and has distributed enough vaccine doses to fully protect just under a quarter of the population. The pandemic, and long, punishing lockdown restrictions, have battered the economy.
For Duterte, too, the stakes are especially high. Last month, the international criminal court (ICC) announced that it was investigating his so-called “war on drugs”, in which as many as 30,000 people are estimated to have been killed. A sympathetic successor could adopt his stance of not cooperating with the court.