Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., a Dictator’s Son, Takes Huge Lead in Philippine Presidential Election

Philippines Prepares For Presidential Elections
Ezra Acayan/Getty Images Supporters of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and running mate Sara Duterte cheer during their last campaign rally before the election on May 7, 2022 in Paranaque, Metro Manila, Philippines.

What to expect under a Marcos presidency

Marcos Jr. made platitudes about “unity” the heart of his campaign, but was short on specifics—save for a promise to boost the COVID-ravaged economy.

Critics fear that a Marcos win could continue the Marcos family’s historical revisionism that

Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., the 64-year-old son of a kleptocratic dictator, has a huge lead in race to become the next president of the Philippines’ following the election Monday.

With more than 80% of the votes counted, Marcos had received 25 million votes, more than double the number of his closest rival, Vice President Leni Robredo, in the multi-person race. Votes were still being counted early Tuesday local time.

Marcos Jr.’s, Ferdinand Marcos Sr., ruled the Southeast Asian nation of 110 million for 21 years before being ousted in 1986. The elder Marcos tore up presidential term limits, imposed nine years of nationwide martial law and brutally quashed political dissent. During his rule, tens of thousands were arrested and thousands of his critics and opponents killed, while political allies benefited from rampant cronyism. He and his wife, 89-year-old Imelda, were also estimated to have embezzled up to $10 billion from state coffers until a popular uprising drove the family into exile in Hawaii, where the elder Marcos died in 1989.
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Marcos Jr. was a local government official during his father’s regime. Experts tell TIME that his political rehabilitation is a reflection of the electorate’s frustration at the failure of successive regimes to alleviate long standing problems like poverty. Blatant misinformation, pumped out by supporters on social networks, helped to whitewash the Marcos family’s bloody legacy.

His canny choice of running mate also united the Marcos political machinery with that of the country’s other leading dynasty. Sara Duterte-Carpio, who is running for vice president, also had a commanding lead in early vote counts. Her father, outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte, retains significant popularity despite his autocratic rule and a brutal war on drugs that left at least 5,000 dead. Rodrigo Duterte is prohibited from running again by term limits.

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Source:: Time – World


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