Voting begins in Philippine elections

Manila: Filipinos began voting on Monday morning to elect their next President and some 18,000 other officials of all levels of government.

A total of 37,211 polling centers across the country opened at 6 a.m. local time for the 65.7 million eligible voters and will close at 7 p.m. local time, Xinhua news agency reported.

Also to be elected are the Vice President, 12 senators, more than 300 members of the House of Representatives, and over 17,000 local officials.

The presidential candidate frontrunner and former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., 64, who is the son of former President Ferdinand Marcos, will cast his ballot in his hometown of Ilocos Norte province, north of main Luzon island.

His main rival, incumbent Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo, 57, will cast the ballot in her hometown of Naga City of Bocol region, south of Luzon island.

John Rex Laudiangco, acting spokesperson of the Commission on Elections, said before the start of the election that it’s “all systems go” and the election would open at 6 a.m. amid reports of two explosions in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao on Sunday night.

He said the situation is under control. More security forces were sent to the area.

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