Singapore denies claims that Davao mayor has PM's vote

MANILA • The Singapore Government has denied claims being spread online in the Philippines that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has endorsed presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte.

The denial by the Singapore embassy in Manila came about after the supposed Singapore endorsement was spread in social media in the last few days.

In the posting, a photo of PM Lee was presented with the caption "Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is the only presidential candidate that could make Philippines like Singapore", according to a report in ABS-CBN News.

In a statement on its website, the Singapore embassy said: "The Embassy has learned of a FB (Facebook) post mischievously alleging that the Prime Minister of Singapore endorses a presidential candidate for the upcoming presidential election in the Philippines.

"This is untrue. Singapore does not endorse any candidate. The choice is for Filipinos alone to make. We wish the Philippines well in the conduct of its elections."

Mr Duterte - mayor of Davao - is the front runner in the May 9 election, according to opinion polls.

The other candidates are senators Grace Poe and Miriam Santiago, Vice-President Jejomar Binay and former interior minister Mar Roxas.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 23, 2016, with the headline 'S'pore denies claims that Davao mayor has PM's vote'. Print Edition | Subscribe