Netflix series raises worry on PH midterm poll results amid Duterte's popularity

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 13) — The host of Netflix series "Patriotic Act with Hasan Minhaj" raised concerns on the possible result of the Philippine midterm elections that will be held on Monday as President Rodrigo Duterte continues to enjoy a high rating.

Indian-American comedian and political commentator Hasan Minhaj released an episode on May 12, a day before the Philippines votes for 18,071 elective posts. He put the spotlight on the policies of Duterte, whom he referred to as an autocrat.

"Midterms act as a check on the President's power, but there is nothing normal about President Rodrigo Duterte," he said in the show.

Minhaj cited Duterte's "extreme" and "ineffective" war against drugs that has killed thousands of drug personalities and civilians. He also mentioned Duterte's questionable pronouncements, citing the time the President ordered his troops to shoot female rebels in the vagina.

"Here's what's more shocking, as the body count rises, so does Duterte's popularity," he said.

He mentioned the President's record-high satisfaction rating in the first quarter of 2019, saying this likely means candidates like Duterte are poised to win.

"According to a recent poll, Duterte's approval rating is as high as 81 percent — probably because he killed the other 19 percent... 12 Senate seats are up for grabs. Seven of the most popular candidates are backed by Duterte," he said.

Minhaj specifically mentioned three senatorial candidates endorsed by Duterte: Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, former Philippine National Police Chief Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa, and ex-Presidential aide Bong Go.

He highlighted the fact that Imee is the daughter of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, noting the death of student activist Archimedes Trajano who was tortured in 1977 after speaking up against Imee.

"Imee Marcos has dad's dictator DNA," Minhaj said.

He referred to dela Rosa as the "'brilliant' architect behind the drug war." He talked about Go simply as the "photobomber and presidential sidekick."

"These are the candidates expected to gain power, which would mean voters are co-signing Duterte's bloody drug war through 2022," Minhaj reminded Filipino voters.

The midterm elections is seen as a referendum on the performance of Duterte over his three years in office.

Aside from the Philippine midterm elections, he also talked about Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who is likened to Duterte for his misogynistic, racist, and homophobic remarks.