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Duterte says mid-term polls a referendum on his administration

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said the midterm elections "could be taken" as a referendum on his administration amid criticisms of his deadly drug war, supposed crackdown on critics and embrace of China.

While Duterte’s name was not on the ballot, analysts had viewed the midterm elections as a referendum on the administration and a litmus test for the chief executive’s popularity which bounced back to a personal high in March.

"It could be taken as one referendum. So that if you agree with me, then you can vote for my candidates or the people I am supporting this election," Duterte told reporters after he cast his vote in Davao City.

"Now if I am repudiated by the loss of all candidates coming from the Hugpong slate, then that would indicate that the majority of the people ayaw nila ako. Madali lang ‘yan. Easy to solve."

Duterte said he sees a 50/50 chance of winning for his 12 senatorial candidates in the polls.

"Ever since I have been in politics, it’s always at the start of the election campaign, I would always place it at 50/50 ang odds. Maski na malakas ako sa survey, maski wala akong kalaban, it is always a 50/50 proposition," he said.

Pre-election surveys indicated that majority of his Senate bets were poised to pick up seats as Malacañang underscored the need for the President to have more allies that will shepherd his legislative agenda in the upper chamber of Congress in the last three years of his term. —NB/BM, GMA News