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Page last updated at 12:21 GMT, Tuesday, 11 May 2010 13:21 UK

Philippines election: Voters' views

With most votes counted in the presidential election in the Philippines, Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino - the son of the former president, Corazon Aquino - has a clear lead over second-placed candidate Joseph "Erap" Estrada.

Mr Aquino said if confirmed as president, he would use his position to tackle corruption and improve public health, education and the judiciary.

Here, people in the Philippines discuss the significance of the election and their hopes for the future.

Claudette Dela Cerna, 36, lawyer, Metro Manila
Claudette Dela Cerna

I am a volunteer for one of the presidential candidates, Mr Gilbert Teodoro. I am not normally interested in politics. However, this election is very important to me for several reasons.

This was our first automated election. The previous elections, which have used manual counting, have always been marked by cheating, count manipulation and violence.

The use of automation has also pulled in a lot of votes, be it out of curiosity or just genuine want of change. The young were particularly keen to participate.

I voted for Gilbert Teodoro. He has run a clean, policy-focused campaign and has not given in to dirty tricks or any character smearing so typical of election campaigning in the Philippines.

I have had the opportunity to migrate to another country but chose not to. I still believe that my country has hope to crawl out of the gutter. I believe that the people would eventually choose the leaders it needs, if not now, then in the future.

Domingo Go Jr, 43, car repair shop manager
Domingo Go Jr

This is my country's first automated election and I hope that direct cheating by incumbents will become a thing of the past. This is very important. For example, there were widespread rumours during the 2004 elections that Gloria Arroyo stole the presidency from the real winner.

She did so much damage to the institution of the presidency. There were so many questionable actions during her administration that have left people furious. There were questionable appointments, questionable deals, questionable pardons of criminals, and worst of all, questionable growth of her personal or family wealth.

Benigno Aquino deserves to be president. Not because of his parents, but because of all the candidates he had the cleanest image.

I'd like to see less wasted tax money because of corruption. I want public sector workers to get better salaries.

I just want the president to have enough legitimacy so that he will not have to make deals with shady elements just to remain in power.

Bernie Terrado, 32, senior software engineer, Quezon City
Bernie Terrado

It was very hot on election day and there were some problems with one voting machine, resulting in a long queue.

But the long lines and the heat did not stop me from voting. The three hours of standing just to vote was well worth it.

It is my right, my duty. I voted for [Richard] Gordon. I knew that his chances of winning were slim, but I still voted for him. Our choice of who to vote for should not be based on the feasibility of winning.

I believe that he was the only one candidate who did not try to use religion or family history to appeal to the masses. We do not need anymore of those. We need a president who acts and does more for the country.

We need someone who will serve as an example - a leader who will not distinguish between the poor and the rich, who will improve the life of all Filipino people regardless of their social strata.

I want change and I want it now.

Nong Johnny, 21, student, Iloilo City
Nong Johnny

This election has been a rather fun race. We had the billionaire Manny Villar, the son of a hero Noynoy, former ousted president Erap, Gloria's Defence Minister Gibo [Gilberto Theodoro], all likely winning contenders. Personality politics rules in this country.

This is the first time we had an automated election system. Though there were a few glitches and problems, overall this election was a success. It's a step towards safer and more fair elections in the future.

The violence was significantly lower than during previous elections. So, it's been a success.

I am just happy to know the president I voted for has already won. Though this does not mean he would not succumb to corruption.

We usually vote for the lesser evil. None of the candidates, including the one I voted for, seem able to bring real change. The system which keeps the country poor is still in place. There's rampant corruption and lack of trust for the politicians.

It's hard to get somewhere if you don't know the right people. If this changes, it will feel like a revolution.

Maria Elena Bartholomew, 54, self-employed, Makati City
Maria Elena Bartholomew

I voted at in Makati Bel-Air. I am particularly impressed with the order at the polling station. Plenty of people but no problems whatsoever. Procedures were simple and straight-forward and machines worked perfectly.

This election is very important for all Filipinos. We have always chanted - "We need change". We need good leaders. I would like us to look at our neighbours - China, Singapore, Japan.

We should be envious of Vietnam and Thailand. If only our elected leaders do their job, we can be as good, if not better than our neighbours as we have the edge - we can speak English.

I have never missed any election. I believe it is my duty to express my opinion by electing the candidate whom I believe fits the criteria. Unfortunately, I have always been an idealist and none of those I voted so far have won the presidential position.

The candidate I voted for is not going to win but I have peace in my heart because I voted based on competency and track record.



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