Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. wins the Philippine election, succeeding Duterte


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MANILA — Ferdinand Marcos Jr., son of the late dictator whose household plundered billions of {dollars}, was elected president of the Philippines by a landslide, in line with preliminary outcomes, solely 36 years after his father was ousted in a historic revolution.

For critics, it marks an extra backward slide for a nation — as soon as admired as one of many few democracies in Southeast Asia — that continues to trudge down the trail of populism. Marcos succeeds the tough-talking President Rodrigo Duterte, finest identified for his crude insults and a warfare on medication that has left 1000’s lifeless.

Duterte’s daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio, is Marcos’s working mate and the subsequent vp. The tandem, which has dubbed itself the “Uniteam” for its supposed message of unity, is a political marriage of the nation’s two strongest dynasties.

Early on Tuesday in a speech, Marcos thanked his supporters for his or her “perception in our message of unity” and their “perception within the candidates.”

Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the 64-year-old son of the previous Philippines dictator, received the nation’s presidential election in a landslide on Might 9. (Video: Reuters)

Within the Philippines, nostalgia for strongmen trumps democracy

The temper was jubilant because the magnitude of their victory turned clear and Marcos’s supporters sang and celebrated in entrance of the marketing campaign headquarters alongside the identical historic Manila avenue the place folks protested to oust his father greater than three a long time in the past.

In the meantime, a whole bunch of disheartened supporters of his primary opponent, Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, flocked to a volunteer middle to console each other and tune in to her live-streamed speech.

“Now we have began one thing that has by no means earlier than been seen in our nation’s historical past: a marketing campaign led by the folks,” Robredo stated Tuesday morning. “This construction of lies took a very long time to construct. There’ll come a time and likelihood to tear it down.”

Her supporters have steered that her grass-roots marketing campaign, which introduced collectively numerous parts of pink-wearing volunteers throughout sectors, ought to preserve its momentum and put together to tackle a task because the opposition below the brand new administration.

Dictator’s son Marcos takes overwhelming lead in Philippines election

“One of many classes now we have to study from the opposite camp is, after they misplaced [in the 2016 vice-presidential race], they began to marketing campaign instantly,” stated Mik Afable, a volunteer who organized flash mobs and helped take cost of operations on Monday.

He expressed hope that their motion could be an enduring one, in comparison with the well-financed Marcos juggernaut. “If you happen to pay for loyalty, it goes away in a short time,” he stated.

Marcos’s fastidiously deliberate journey to the presidency reveals how social media can form notion and politics in a extremely on-line nation, which has been dubbed the “affected person zero” of disinformation after Duterte first received with the assistance of troll farms in 2016.

As president, Marcos will rule over an archipelago of about 110 million ravaged by the local weather disaster and the coronavirus pandemic, the place round a fifth of the inhabitants lives under the poverty line. He additionally is anticipated to proceed the drug warfare and protect the outgoing Duterte from potential prosecution on the Worldwide Prison Court docket.

How the Philippines’ brutal historical past is being whitewashed for voters

“This election is so consequential as a result of whoever wins will resolve who lives and who dies within the Philippines,” stated Nicole Curato, a sociologist and professor on the College of Canberra.

However the remainder of Marcos’s platforms and insurance policies are largely unclear as a result of he has skipped election debates and interviews with the unbiased media, as an alternative surrounding himself with social media personalities and vloggers who get pleasure from preferential therapy from his marketing campaign.

“We don’t know sufficient when it comes to how they may govern,” Curato stated. “They management the way in which they disseminate info.”

Marcos’s governing expertise is concentrated within the province from which the household hails. He was governor of Ilocos Norte within the Eighties (changing his aunt), earlier than he left with the rebellion that overthrew his father. After his return, he served as a consultant for the province after which once more governor earlier than he was elected to the Senate in 2010 — the place he was later concerned in a corruption scandal.

Marcos can be anticipated to proceed Duterte’s pleasant stance towards China, and he beforehand stated that he wouldn’t search assist from the US concerning the dispute over islands within the South China Sea, which China has closely militarized. Well-liked ire, nonetheless, is working excessive towards China over its stress on Philippine fishermen, and there are long-standing ties with the US, together with between their militaries.

Because the numbers steadily trickled in for Marcos, 1000’s throughout varied precincts have been nonetheless ready to forged their votes effectively previous midnight. Technical issues that plagued vote-counting machines fed into fears that ballots could possibly be tampered with, and on Tuesday morning, demonstrators flocked to the Fee on Elections in Manila to protest what they noticed as an election riddled with irregularities.

The human rights group Karapatan additionally referred to as on the general public to reject the Marcos-Duterte tandem, saying that Marcos “[spits] on the graves and sufferings” of 1000’s of martial regulation victims. “Worse, he has portrayed the victims of human rights violations as money-seeking opportunists,” stated the group’s secretary basic, Cristina Palabay.

Based on the unofficial depend with 98 p.c of precincts reporting, Marcos received 58 p.c of the ballots forged, greater than 31 million votes, in contrast with Duterte’s victory with simply 16 million in 2016.

Robredo, a lawyer and social activist, got here in second with 14.7 million votes — lower than half of Marcos’s complete. The race was a rematch for the 2, who had confronted off within the 2016 vice-presidential race, which Robredo received, regardless of Marcos’s makes an attempt to overturn the consequence.

Within the Philippines, political dynasties dominate — with the Marcos household being among the many most well-known. Ferdinand Marcos, his spouse, Imelda, daughter Imee and son have all held political posts in or representing the province of Ilocos Norte. Imelda, 92, who beforehand launched two unsuccessful presidential bids, arrived at a polling station Monday in a crimson outfit, rosary and Chanel pin.

“She’s wished me to change into president since I used to be 3 years previous,” Marcos stated of his mom in 2015.

Additionally they face varied controversies: unpaid property taxes reported to have ballooned to over $3 billion, a graft conviction for Imelda, a virtually $2 billion class-action award and contempt order handed down by a U.S. District Court docket compensating 1000’s of victims of rights violations below the Marcos administration, amongst others.

Marcos additionally has controversies of his personal, together with a questionable tax document and his contested claims to have accomplished his research at Oxford College.

The excesses of the Marcos household have been in full view throughout their rule a long time in the past, with frequent jet-setting, spending sprees and, famously, Imelda’s 1000’s of pairs of sneakers — bins of which have since fallen sufferer to mildew and termite infestations.

Underneath martial regulation on the time, experiences of human rights abuses have been rampant, together with arbitrary arrests, forcible disappearances, torture and killings. However with a Marcos win, the household is about to be shielded from accountability.

There are ongoing makes an attempt to recoup as a lot as $10 billion plundered by the household’s late patriarch. As president, accountable for the chief department and with affect over authorities businesses, Marcos can have outsize energy in controlling that hunt.

Marcos’s landslide win factors to the success of his social media marketing campaign but additionally Filipinos’ “serial disappointment” within the political institution and democratic rule over the previous three a long time, stated Marco Garrido, a sociologist on the College of Chicago.

“The religion they’d in liberal democracy has dried up … they usually’ve developed this style for intolerant rule over the course of the Duterte administration,” he stated. “This nostalgia for the Marcos interval wouldn’t make sense except you set it within the context of 36 years of disappointment.”

Westfall reported from Washington.



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