Key Candidates In The Philippine Elections

This combination of file photos created on 2 May, 2022 shows the top five of 10 candidates in total running for president in the Philippine election on 9 May, 2022: (L to R) Manila City Mayor Francisco Domagoso, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jnr, Philippine boxing legend and presidential candidate Manny Pacquiao, Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Panfilo Lacson. (AFP Photo)

Tens of millions of Filipinos go to the polls on 9 May to pick a successor to President Rodrigo Duterte and separately elect a vice president.

Voter surveys show the son and namesake of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos is on the verge of victory in the crowded presidential race of 10 contenders.

His running-mate and first daughter Sara Duterte leads the pack of nine vice presidential hopefuls.

The following are the top contenders:

Ferdinand Marcos Jr 

Ferdinand Marcos Junior, nicknamed "Bongbong", is the favourite to win the presidency, capping a stunning comeback for the controversial family.

The 64-year-old's popularity has been driven by a massive social media misinformation campaign targeting a mostly young electorate with no memory of the torture, killings and other abuses committed during his father's rule.

Marcos Jr has also drawn support from his formidable alliance with Sara Duterte, the backing of other powerful dynasties and the family's northern stronghold.

Leni Robredo 

Incumbent Vice President Leni Robredo, 57, is the only woman in the presidential contest and is the most serious rival to Marcos Jr for the top job.

After languishing in the polls, Robredo's volunteer-driven campaign gained traction in recent weeks as diehard supporters went door to door across the archipelago to drum up support.

The latest voter survey showed the mild-mannered Robredo narrowing the gap, fuelling hopes among her fans that the former congresswoman could cause an upset – as she did in the 2016 vice presidential contest.

If Robredo were to win, she would be only the third woman leader of the Southeast Asian nation.

Francisco Domagoso 

A former street scavenger turned actor; Francisco Domagoso enjoys celebrity status in Manila where he has been mayor since 2019 after wresting the post from disgraced ex-president Joseph Estrada.

Domagoso, 47, popularly known by his screen name "Isko Moreno", has been credited with ridding the streets of hawkers and overseeing cheap housing projects.

Voter surveys show he has lagged in third place behind Marcos Jr and Robredo, but he has refused to pull out of the race and recently called on Robredo to quit.

Manny Pacquiao 

A rags-to-riches sporting icon, Manny Pacquiao ended a glittering 26-year career in the ring last year and threw his hat into the presidential contest.

The 43-year-old senator is deeply religious and made fighting corruption and poverty key themes of his "Man of Destiny" campaign.

But the messages failed to hit the mark.

He risked political capital in a public stoush with the still-popular Duterte last year, and has been stalked by previous admissions of drug use and homophobic comments.

Panfilo Lacson 

A former police chief turned senator, Panfilo Lacson, 73, is making a second against-the-odds tilt for the presidency after a failed attempt in 2004.

Lacson is known for cracking down on kidnap-for-ransom groups targeting the ethnic Chinese community in the 1980s and 1990s.

During that period, he was accused and later cleared of involvement in multiple murders, including 11 suspected bank robbers.

For vice president:

Sara Duterte 

Feisty first daughter Sara Duterte, 43, surprised many – apparently even her own father – when she opted last November to contest the vice presidency in an alliance with Marcos Jr.

Voter surveys at the time showed she was the leading candidate for president – a role that would give her the power to shield the elder Duterte from potential criminal charges in the Philippines and an international probe into his deadly drug war.

Former president Gloria Arroyo, a powerful figure in Philippine politics, is believed to have played matchmaker for the pair.

Duterte is the favourite to win.

Vicente Sotto 

Senate president Vicente Sotto, Lacson's running-mate, is a former comedian best known for his role in the slapstick troika act "Tito, Vic and Joey" that dominated local television for decades.

The 73-year-old has been a staunch supporter of Duterte's drug crackdown while also championing key causes of the mainly Catholic country's conservative church leadership.

This resulted in divorce, same-sex marriage and abortion bills dying in the Senate.