MANILA • Outgoing Philippine leader Benigno Aquino yesterday called on presidential candidates to join forces so that they can prevent maverick mayor Rodrigo Duterte from winning the election.
Mr Aquino's revelation of his last-gasp intervention came after his chosen successor, Mr Mar Roxas, hastily called a news conference to urge rival Grace Poe to team up with him, so that they could uphold "democracy and decency".
"I am trying to get all of these different voices together and, in that sense, perhaps help our candidate get together and have that united front," Mr Aquino told CNN Philippines.
Mr Aquino, who has served his maximum one term, said he had been talking to Mr Roxas and had exchanged text messages with Ms Poe. He said it would be good if all candidates worked together to beat Mr Duterte.
Neither Mr Aquino nor Mr Roxas explained how an anti-Duterte alliance would work, or if any of them would have to pull out.
Ms Poe said yesterday she would not quit the race.