Philippine presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has a large lead in unofficial results from the country's elections Monday.
With more than 77 percent of the votes counted, Marcos Jr. had more than 25 million votes. Candidate Leni Robredo, the country's vice president, is in second place with at least 12 million.
In a video statement Monday night, Marcos Jr. thanked his supporters and spoke of the future.
"Let us keep watch on the vote," he said. "If we'll be fortunate, I'll expect that your help will not wane, your trust will not wane because we have a lot of things to do in the times ahead."
Marcos Jr. is the son of Ferdinand Marcos. He ruled the Philippines from 1965 until a military overthrow in 1986. For most of his presidency he was supported by the military and widely considered a dictator.
Election officials said the voting was mostly peaceful, but noted reports of some violence in the south. The winner of the presidency will take office on June 30 for a single, six-year term.
The next president faces deepening poverty, unemployment and years of continuing armed civil conflicts in the Philippines.
The new leader may also have to deal with demands that the government punish outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte. He is accused of ordering or permitting thousands of killings in the government's long anti-drug campaign. The International Criminal Court is currently investigating some of the accusations.
I'm Caty Weaver.
________________________________________________________________Words in This Story
fortunate –adj. having good luck or good things happen
wane –v. to decrease in size or to weaken
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