A Landslide Victory for Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Is Just Around the Corner in the Philippines Elections!
According to preliminary and unconfirmed results, Ferdinand Marcos Jr, the late dictator’s son and namesake is on the verge of winning the Philippines presidential election by a landslide, perhaps bringing the Marcos dynasty back to Malacanang Palace 36 years after fleeing a major revolt.
According to a partial and unofficial calculation of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Marcos Jr has approximately 30 million votes, more than double that of his nearest challenger, departing Vice President Leni Robredo, who has about 14 million votes. Official results, on the other hand, may take weeks to confirm.
In the Philippines, Marcos Jr is known as “Bongbong,” the son of Ferdinand Marcos Sr, whose 21-year administration was marked by human rights violations and extensive corruption.
Marcos Jr.’s rise, according to analysts, is the conclusion of a decades-long effort to reinvent the Marcos family’s name and image, most recently through social media.
In an address late Monday, the former senator praised his fans for their faith in him.
“I can’t wait to thank all of you… to those who aided, to those who joined our struggle, to those who sacrificed,” he stated, even though the counting isn’t yet complete.
Sara Duterte Carpio, the daughter of populist outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte, is Marcos Jr’s running mate for Vice President. Many of their supporters are voting to keep Duterte’s policies in place, notably his divisive “war on drugs.”
Duterte Carpio is also leading the contest for vice president, according to unofficial results. In the Philippines, the vice president is elected separately from the president.
On Tuesday, students and members of progressive groups gathered outside the Philippines electoral commission in the capital of Manila, brandishing banners and screaming slogans in protest of Marcos and what they claimed were election violations.
Outside the campaign’s offices in Mandaluyong City, Philippines, supporters of presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. celebrate as partial results of the 2022 national elections show him with a large lead over competitors on May 9.
Marcos Jr ran on a “unity” ticket, promising more jobs, lower costs, and increased agricultural and infrastructural investment. According to political observers, Marcos Jr. appeals to Filipinos who are tired of political wrangling and promises of progress and economic transformation from previous administrations, which many believe have failed to benefit ordinary people.
In the run-up to Monday’s election, surveys showed him winning by more than 30 percentage points.
“We are not yet done, we are just getting started,” Robredo, who ran on a platform of good governance, transparency, and human rights, told her supporters on Monday.
According to CNN Philippines, she remarked, “We launched something that had never been seen before in the country’s whole history: a movement led by people.”
Her grassroots campaign was led by an army of citizen volunteers canvassing votes from house to home, and her rallies drew crowds in the hundreds of thousands.
Vice President Leni Robredo speaks to the media after casting her ballot on May 9 in Magarao, Camarines Sur province, Philippines, at a school turned into a polling station.
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Marcos Jr’s campaign drew on his father’s legacy, with his slogan “rise again” appealing to those who remember Marcos Sr’s presidency as a glorious moment for the country.
Supporters of the Marcos family argue that the period was one of growth and prosperity, with major infrastructure including hospitals, highways, and bridges being built. Critics argue that this was a ruse and that the projects were fueled by rampant corruption, foreign funding, and mounting debt.
According to human rights organizations, tens of thousands of people were imprisoned, tortured, or killed during the martial law period from 1972 to 1981.
The Philippines’ Presidential Commission on Good Governance (PCGG), which is tasked with collecting the family’s ill-gotten money, estimates that around $10 billion has been plundered from the Filipino people. Hundreds of cases are still pending.
The Marcos family has denied abusing martial law and misusing public monies for their own benefit. Campaigners claim that the Marcoses were never properly held accountable and that victims of martial law are still seeking justice.
Marcos Jr. was 29 years old when his family was forced into exile in Hawaii following his father’s regime’s overthrow in 1986. Three years later, Marcos Sr died in exile, but his family returned in 1991 and became wealthy, powerful politicians, with succeeding family members representing their dynastic heartland of Ilocos Norte.
a Marcos victory exposes “not just Filipinos, but the globe, the impact of disinformation on a democracy,” according to Maria Ressa, the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize laureate and president and chief executive of local media portal Rappler.
“He will shape the country’s future while also determining its past.”
Marcos Jr is expected to succeed President Duterte, who is known internationally for cracking down on civil society and the media, as well as waging a violent drug war that has claimed the lives of over 6,000 people, according to police.
Despite his human rights record and the Covid-19 outbreak, which exacerbated the country’s starvation situation, Duterte has a significant domestic following.
Beyond the country’s borders, the election has implications. With China and the United States increasingly using the Indo-Pacific as a staging ground for their global confrontation,
the Philippines is set to face more economic and geopolitical pressure, especially since its territorial claims in the South China Sea coincide with Beijing’s.
According to analysts, the Philippines’ relations with both major countries have the potential to be reset, and the outcome of the referendum might affect Asia’s power balance.