Philippines midterms could strengthen Duterte's hold on Senate

Filipinos cast their votes at a polling precinct in the capital, Manila. The midterm elections are likely a test of President Rodrigo Duterte's popularity.

(CNN)Over 60 million voters are going to the polls across the Philippines for midterm elections on Monday that are being seen as a bellwether for the popularity of President Rodrigo Duterte.

While more than 18,000 government posts are up for grabs, the highest office in the land is not being contested. Nonetheless, the election is widely considered to be a referendum on the brash, plain-spoken leader's three years in office.
Duterte's divisive policies, including his war on drugs, which has seen thousands of people lose their lives in extrajudicial killings, have provoked a chorus of condemnation from human rights groups at home and overseas.
But opinion polls in the lead-up to the election have been favorable to the president, suggesting many in the country still admire his strongman tactics.