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    Aquino, allies appear near control of Philippine Senate

    President Benigno Aquino campaigned last week in Quezon City, Philippines.
    Cheryl Ravelo/REUTERS
    President Benigno Aquino campaigned last week in Quezon City, Philippines.

    MANILA — President Benigno Aquino of the Philippines appeared set to win control of the 24-member Senate, according to early results in legislative elections. The result would bolster his plans for an expanded anticorruption drive.

    With about 30 percent of precincts reporting Monday, nine Senate candidates backed by Aquino are leading among the 12 seats being decided, according to an unofficial count posted on the Commission on Elections’ website.

    Because four of the 12 senators whose terms expire in 2016 ran with Aquino’s coalition when he took power, a victory for nine more allies would give him an effective majority in the upper House.


    Aquino, who has overseen an economic revival during the first three years of his single six-year term, said in a May 8 interview he wants to reduce the number of people who travel abroad to earn a living.

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    The 53-year-old leader wants a tighter grip on the Senate to push for stronger antigraft measures, speedier trials, and a more efficient procurement system.

    ‘‘Stronger control of Congress gives Aquino a better chance of pushing for his legislative agenda for the rest of his term,’’ said Paul Joseph Garcia, at BPI Asset Management Inc. in Manila. ‘‘The outcome of the elections will be a validation of the president’s policy reforms and governance that has boosted investor confidence.’’

    Bloomberg News