Asia

Candidates asked to unite vs Filipino mayor likened to Trump

  • Presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe, who is running second in survey polls, answers questions, inside her home in suburban Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines on Friday, May 6, 2016. Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has called on presidential candidates to agree to an alliance to defeat a front-running mayor, who he says is a threat to democracy and has built a reputation for his profanity-laden speeches. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    Presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe, who is running second in survey polls, answers questions, inside her home in suburban Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines on Friday, May 6, 2016. Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has called on presidential candidates to agree to an alliance to defeat a front-running mayor, who he says is a threat to democracy and has built a reputation for his profanity-laden speeches. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)  (The Associated Press)

  • Layers of election campaign posters hang outside a voting center in Manila, Philippines on Friday May 6, 2016. Campaign materials can be seen in almost every corner of the country as it gears up for the presidential elections on Monday. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    Layers of election campaign posters hang outside a voting center in Manila, Philippines on Friday May 6, 2016. Campaign materials can be seen in almost every corner of the country as it gears up for the presidential elections on Monday. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)  (The Associated Press)

The Philippine leader has called on presidential candidates to agree to an alliance to defeat a front-running mayor, who he describes as a threat to democracy and has built a reputation for his profanity-laden speeches.

President Benigno Aquino III said Friday the 30 percent lead of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in pre-election surveys could be overcome if his rivals, mainly former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and Sen. Grace Poe, can unite.

Aquino did not elaborate but he was insinuating some candidates could back out and support a single candidate to surmount Duterte's lead.

The brash Duterte, who has been compared to Donald Trump in the U.S., has caused alarm with his threats, including of closing Congress if lawmakers try to impeach him if he triumphs in the May elections.