Asia

Millions vote for president in Philippine general elections

  • Filipino 80-year-old Dioleta Esteban shows the indelible ink on her finger after casting her vote at a polling center in suburban San Juan, east of Manila, Philippines on Monday May 9, 2016. Millions of Filipinos trooped to elections centers Monday to pick a new president, vice president and thousands of other officials amid tight security across the country.   (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    Filipino 80-year-old Dioleta Esteban shows the indelible ink on her finger after casting her vote at a polling center in suburban San Juan, east of Manila, Philippines on Monday May 9, 2016. Millions of Filipinos trooped to elections centers Monday to pick a new president, vice president and thousands of other officials amid tight security across the country. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)  (The Associated Press)

  • Filipinos start voting at a polling center in suburban San Juan, east of Manila, Philippines on Monday May 9, 2016. Millions of Filipinos trooped to elections centers Monday to pick a new president, vice president and thousands of other officials amid tight security across the country. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    Filipinos start voting at a polling center in suburban San Juan, east of Manila, Philippines on Monday May 9, 2016. Millions of Filipinos trooped to elections centers Monday to pick a new president, vice president and thousands of other officials amid tight security across the country. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)  (The Associated Press)

  • Boys distribute election leaflets outside a polling precinct at the front-running presidential candidate Mayor Rodrigo Duterte's hometown of Davao city in southern Philippines Monday, May 9, 2016. Millions of Filipinos began voting Monday in a presidential race where a foul-mouthed, crime-busting mayor is favored to win, but who the outgoing president says is a threat to democracy. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Boys distribute election leaflets outside a polling precinct at the front-running presidential candidate Mayor Rodrigo Duterte's hometown of Davao city in southern Philippines Monday, May 9, 2016. Millions of Filipinos began voting Monday in a presidential race where a foul-mouthed, crime-busting mayor is favored to win, but who the outgoing president says is a threat to democracy. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

Philippine officials say voting for president, vice president and thousands of other posts has begun amid tight security across the country.

Five candidates are vying to succeed President Benigno Aquino III in Monday's elections in one of Asia's liveliest democracies. A tough-talking city mayor, Rodrigo Duterte, has led in voter-preference surveys ahead of the polls.

More than 45,000 other candidates are contesting 18,000 national, congressional and local positions in elections that have traditionally been tainted by violence and accusations of cheating, specially in far-flung rural areas.

Aquino, whose six-year term ends in June, urged Filipinos to show the world they can hold peaceful and orderly elections despite political differences.