Asia

Philippine campaign ends in panic as Trump-like mayor leads

  • SWAT members of the Philippine National Police provide security to the campaign motorcade of presidential candidate Vice-president Jejomar Binay and congressman Manny Pacquiao, who is running for senator in Monday's national elections during their campaign rally in Navotas north of Manila, Philippines, Friday, May 6, 2016. Boxing star Manny Pacquiao pressed on with his campaign for a seat in the Philippine Senate despite a reported militant plot to kidnap him. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    SWAT members of the Philippine National Police provide security to the campaign motorcade of presidential candidate Vice-president Jejomar Binay and congressman Manny Pacquiao, who is running for senator in Monday's national elections during their campaign rally in Navotas north of Manila, Philippines, Friday, May 6, 2016. Boxing star Manny Pacquiao pressed on with his campaign for a seat in the Philippine Senate despite a reported militant plot to kidnap him. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

  • Presidential candidate Vice-president Jejomar Binay, center, and Congressman Manny Pacquiao, right, who is running for senator in Monday's national elections, throw souvenir t-shirts, candies and wrist bands to supporters during their campaign sortie in Navotas north of Manila, Philippines Friday, May 6, 2016. Binay is running fourth in the latest poll survey while Pacquiao is in the top five of the possible senators. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Presidential candidate Vice-president Jejomar Binay, center, and Congressman Manny Pacquiao, right, who is running for senator in Monday's national elections, throw souvenir t-shirts, candies and wrist bands to supporters during their campaign sortie in Navotas north of Manila, Philippines Friday, May 6, 2016. Binay is running fourth in the latest poll survey while Pacquiao is in the top five of the possible senators. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

  • Congressman Manny Pacquiao, left, who is running for senator in Monday's national elections, poses with Sen. Nancy Binay, the daughter of presidential candidate Jejomar Binay during their campaign rally, in Navotas north of Manila, Philippines, Friday, May 6, 2016. Binay is running fourth in the latest poll survey while Pacquiao is in the top five of the possible senators. The country will hold a national election on Monday to succeed President Benigno Aquino III with tough-talking Mayor Rodrigo Duterte leading among five presidential candidates in most surveys. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Congressman Manny Pacquiao, left, who is running for senator in Monday's national elections, poses with Sen. Nancy Binay, the daughter of presidential candidate Jejomar Binay during their campaign rally, in Navotas north of Manila, Philippines, Friday, May 6, 2016. Binay is running fourth in the latest poll survey while Pacquiao is in the top five of the possible senators. The country will hold a national election on Monday to succeed President Benigno Aquino III with tough-talking Mayor Rodrigo Duterte leading among five presidential candidates in most surveys. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

A bruising presidential campaign is drawing to a close in the Philippines with a last-minute attempt by the president to unify candidates against a front-running mayor perceived as a threat to democracy virtually collapsing.

After crisscrossing the archipelago nation for three months, five presidential candidates led by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte will converge in the vote-rich capital Saturday for their final rallies ahead of Monday's vote. Thousands of police have been deployed to maintain order.

On the eve of the end of campaigning, President Benigno Aquino III made a desperate call on candidates to agree to an alliance to defeat the brash Duterte, who has been likened to U.S. Republican front-runner Donald Trump for his controversial remarks but has topped pre-poll surveys on a pledge to wipe out criminals and corruption.